When Does Gordon Bring Back DP?
Last night the Islanders visited the San Jose Sharks and picked up their first point in the past nine games as they lost 2-1 in the SO courtesy of Dan Boyle, who had the SO winning goal as well as the game-tying goal on a 5-on-3 power play. Despite the fact that the losing streak has hit a new high, Dwayne Roloson has been one of the few bright spots for the Islanders despite the drop in the standings.
Roly currently sits eighth in the league amongst goaltenders with a 2.10 GAA even though he has a 2-6-1 record over nine games played this season. He also posts a .924 save percentage, having made 231 saves on 250 shots along with one assist on the year - and that's more than some of the regular skaters can say. Clearly the 41 year old has picked up exactly where he left off from last season and deserves to be the starter for the New York Islanders.
But where does that leave Rick DiPietro?
The last two games that Rick played were absolutely horrible and there is no other way to put it. Obviously the team hadn't played nearly as well in front of him as they have with Roloson over this past stretch, but in times like these where wins don't come easy, the goalie has to steal a few. Roloson hasn't stolen any just yet, but he has demonstrated that he is the only reason that the Islanders were able to force OT against the Sharks or were able to stay in games where they were being heavily outplayed.
Rick, on the other hand, let up six goals and seven goals in his past two games played, respectively. In seven games played this season, DiPietro has gone 2-3-2 with a 4.21 GAA and .854 save percentage. It is safe to say that he is far from regaining his old form, but the only way he will ever shake off the rust is to continue playing.
But with the Isles on a nine game losing streak with scoring hard to come by and defense being weak in their own zone (the Isles were outshot 12-8 in the first period last night), when will Ricky get a chance to play again?
Scott Gordon will have to make a decision when the Isles face the Pacific Division leading L.A. Kings tomorrow night. To me it is a no brainer - you start Roloson. He is the only reason why the Islanders have picked up a point so far on this road trip and should play again against a team that is 11-3-0 and is unbeaten at home, having won all seven played at the Staples Center.
My guess is that Rick will start either of the games at Nassau Coliseum when the Islanders play host to the Panthers or Lightning next week. But I have been wrong before.
Bottom line is that the Islanders need wins and as many points as they can get. The typical mantra for every team is to ride the hot goalie. Right now, that's Dwayne Roloson.
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