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DiPietro cleared to play

Oct 25, 2011, 2:44 PM EDT

Rick DiPietro Getty Images

Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro has been cleared to get injured again.

The hard-luck netminder will likely survive tonight’s game against the Penguins at Nassau Coliseum, as he’ll only be backing up Evgeni Nabokov. Although you never know. Pucks can fly into the bench pretty fast.

DiPietro has been out with a concussion since Oct. 12. In his absence, the Islanders (3-3-0) have been splitting goaltending duties between Nabokov and Al Montoya, with both performing well between the pipes.

DiPietro suffered his latest concussion in practice when a teammate fired a puck off his mask. The last time the 30-year-old appeared in a regular-season game was April 9 when he surrendered six goals in a 7-4 loss to the Flyers. His 2010-11 numbers were poor (3.44 GAA, .886 SV%).

So with three possible options in goal, who’s the official starter for the Islanders? The answer is still to be determined, according to coach Jack Capuano.

“Our goaltending right now is one of our strong points on our hockey team,” Capuano said today, as reported by the New York Post. “But is there a clear No. 1? No.”

It’ll be interesting to see how the Islanders handle the goaltending situation, because it’s more complicated than just figuring out who’s playing the best. There are salary-cap considerations as well.

If DiPietro were to be sent down to the AHL (as has been suggested in the past), that would mean his $4.5-million cap hit would come off the books, pushing the team under the cap floor.

It must be hard to be an Isles fan.

  1. bcisleman - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Yeah, Jason…there have been times when being an Islander fan has been tough. When that has happened, I would just look up at those banners and think about the glory days. I am sure that you have…ooops, sorry I forgot. You are a Canuck guy. No banners in your rafters. Sorry, I know that must be tough.

    In any event, now is NOT a time when it is tough to be an Islander fan. The Milbury era is long over and Garth Snow has already built up quite an array of talent. RDP, at worst, is just a speed bump. Having that cap room simply means that Garth Snow will not have to worry about selling off talent when their paydays come due as the Hawks did.

    There may be a buyout in RDP’s future, but with Al and Nabby playing so well and blue chip G prospects lined up in Bridgeport, I am not at all worried about that.

    • Jason Brough - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      Al Bundy had his glory years too.

      PS – I like the Isles.

  2. lewdood - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Boy I’d love nothing more than to see Rick find a groove in net and put together a strong season. Something like 18-10-4, 2.75 GAA, .905 sv%. Respectable #’s, proof there’s still game in him, and more importantly I don’t want to see him injured again.

    Even if he stinks up the joint, so be it. Just let him leave the game able to walk and think clearly.

  3. spizzjr - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Bcisles man likes to insult people for no real reason but anyway as a die hard isles fan I hope Ricky gets hurt again I’m done hoping he turns into half the player he was supposed to face facts he’s done he will never be more than a liability GO ISLES

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 25, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    DiPietro informed by the team he’s been cleared to play, injures wrist hanging up phone

    • danphipps01 - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:53 PM

      It’s like I’m really reading Down Goes Brown!

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