New York Sports Express has the postmortem on the Islander and Devil losses.
It looked like a low point for Devils goalie Martin Brodeur and a high point for Islander goalie Rick DiPietro.
In fact, this playoff loss could actually represent the beginning of a string of successes for DiPietro:
DiPietro showed that he has the fundamentals to be an NHL starter, though. And he proved that his greatest value to the Isles will be as a trade chip. His ultra-aggressive playing style is the natural extension of Brodeur’s legacy. Where Brodeur plays like a third stay-at-home defenseman, DiPietro plays the puck like a third offensive defenseman. He moves the puck well, finding openings for his teammates. The big problem in the playoffs was that his forwards didn’t know what to do with the puck once they had it on their sticks.
But imagine if DiPietro played for a fast Western Conference team like Colorado, Vancouver or Calgary. Imagine DiPietro coming out to the faceoff circle to play a puck and making a perfect pass over his blue line to a waiting defenseman, who then uses a single pass to hit a forward about to fly into the opposing team’s zone. All within the space of a few seconds, perhaps while their opponents are in the middle of a line change.