Goalie Rick DiPietro sure looked sharp leading the Islanders over Buffalo in game two this weekend, but Greg Logan, who covers the Isles for Newsday, noticed some small things that could indicate DiPietro isn’t at 100%:
Two small moments caught the eye today as DiPietro went through his first practice and the interviews that followed. Toward the end, after taking a series of shots, DiPietro was unsteady for just a split-second and then hunched over looking as if he were trying to catch his breath. That’s when his workout ended, and he skated off bent over in a resting position. The other noticeable reaction came during the interview session when a TV cameraman suddenly turned on a bright light on DiPietro’s face, and he seemed to reel slightly, shading his eyes.
The Post’s Marc Berman was impressed by DiPietro’s leadership, but you have to hope DiPietro isn’t sacrificing his health longterm, just to make a series of it.
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Speaking of goalies, Atlanta’s Bob Hartley sure has his on a very short leash, pulling Kari Lehtonen after a game one performance that really wasn’t horrible.
I’m really not sure what Hartley’s end game is with the move. Lehtonen is the franchise goalie. Eventually, he’s going to have to win a playoff game. He can’t win, and he sure can’t learn to win, sitting on the bench, watching Johan Hedberg. And Hedberg, who played stupendously, and is carving out an interesting niche as a solid number two goalie who can step-up as needed, has a bit of a reputation for being neurotic. Who knows how the playoff pressure will affect him? And then who can Hartley turn to? I know Atlanta wants to win now, and I know all of their trade deadline moves indicate they’re not horribly concerned about the future, but I still think Hartley is playing with fire.
Look at Pittsburgh. Do you think anyone there feels good with Marc-Andre Fleury in goal? But everyone in the Pittsburgh organization seems to know you can’t develop a goalie without playing a goalie.
On a semi-related note, kudos to David Vecsey for being the voice of reason in telling the Thrashers to stop paying so much attention to Sean Avery. He’s not Jaromir Jagr. He’s not a huge scoring threat. You don’t have to take yourself out of the play to check him. I say this as someone rooting for the Rangers. It’s just distracting.
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The 2001 Cup-winning Avalanche are well represented in the playoffs:
Greg de Vries (Atlanta)
Chris Drury (Buffalo)
Peter Forsberg (Nashville)
Nolan Pratt (Tampa)
Martin Skoula (Minnesota)
Alex Tanguay (Calgary)
Stephane Yelle (Calgary)