Islanders Blog: California Dreaming

By Nick Colombo
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Usually it’s rich kids whose parents didn’t love them enough that run to California to “find themselves.” This week, it will be the Islanders who cruise out west and hope to just find a win. For rich kids, this California trip typically ends with an empty bank account, an appearance in a low budget adult film, and a heroine addiction. All of which the Islanders would probably prefer if given the choice between that and going 0-3 in the Golden State. However, the question of if they want to win is an easy one. The difficult one is if they can.

Last time, I wrote that the Islanders were suffering from eroding confidence. Well today I checked out the numbers, and it seems like confidence is not the Islanders’ only problem.

To me the biggest problem is still Rick DiPietro. In his 7 games he has given up 30 goals. Every other goalie in the league that has given up 30 or more goals has played no less than 11 games. In addition, DP is sporting a 4.21 GAA, the worst of all goalies in the NHL. Guess what New York, when you’re starting an ineffective netminder 50% of the time it’s kind of hard to eek out any wins.

I don’t want to hear that the defense shares blame for this either. Yes, the Isles are 29th in the league in GAA with 3.50, but they’re 15th in shots against per game. So they’re not doing a bad job controlling the puck and limiting their opponents offensively. Plus, Dwayne Roloson is near the top of the league with his GAA of 2.44. The numbers don’t lie, DiPietro’s play is a problem.

Yes, the offense shares some blame too. The Isles are worst in the league with 5 on 5 goals with a mere 14. They’re 23rd overall in goals for/game. They’ve done very well in scoring on their power play this year, but even if you lose 7 straight you don’t get to play the whole game 5 on 4. They’ve got to get better scoring at even strength. Every year, Washington gets away with playing a highly offensive system and giving up a ton of goals because they actually score. If 50% of your goaltending is bad, and you play a very offensive system, at some point something has to give. It’s time for a little less of Scott Gordon’s super pressure forechecking or a little less DP. Take a guess where I stand?

Ok, we’ll check in after California. A place I’d much rather be right now as it snows in November. In the meantime, shoot your questions or comments to me at

  • Roberto

    You guys must be stupid if yout think that Roloson is anything close to being the goaltender DiPietro was, is and will be. Roloson let up the worst goals i’ve ever seen (after Toskala of course) against Ottawa and the game winning goal against the Flyers where he managed to JUMP!!!!!! for a puck! and then let up the game winning goal on the rebound. Roloson is a horrible goaltender, the main reason behind why he lets up few goals is that he doesn’t even face top offensive teams. He faced Washington at a time where they were having trouble putting the puck in the net, Colorado’s top offensive man is Chris Stewart, and few even knew he existed before this year, he faced Toronto who’s top players, once again, no one knew existed before this year, then he faced Montreal and let up 8 goals in 2 games letting up some of the fattest rebound i’ve ever seen. Then he faces Ottawa, where he lets up a goal to Jason Spezza that not even Spezza knows how he managed to let that one go in. Roloson is a horrible goalie, period end of story. I’d rather give DiPietro ice time, have him shake off the rust and go back to being the goalie he was in 06/07 where he carried the team into the playoffs.

    • Nick Colombo

      You want to tell me Roloson isn’t that good. I will give that to you. He’s no hall of famer and he’s 40. But DP hasnt put together a good season since, like you said, 06/07. What you see now is not rust or lack of talent, it’s a goalie whose injuries have clearly impacted his ability to play the style of active goaltending he likes to. Roloson isn’t great, but he’s good enough to give them a chance to win. DP looks like a bumbling fool right now.

      • Roberto

        DP had a good season in 07/08, and got injured in 08/09, and 09/10. DP suffered 2 season ending injuries, and you honestly want to tell me that you don’t think there’s any rust? His injuries have impacted the way he has always played the game, there’s no doubts, but i firmly believe that if given his chances and his fair amount of games, by mid-december he will be back to being at least close to the kind of goaltender he was in 06/07.


    Trust me, when DiPietro made a huge third period save against Dallas opening night the announcer said if New York rallies for a point that save was the reason, his penalty shot save on Gaborik won the Ranger game along with his breakway save on Bergenheim in Tampa. He also played well to earn the team something it did not get in the last two seasons in Pittsburgh and that was a point.

    The story of the offense at five on five is completely accurate. DiPietro aside from the game in Philadelphia and Carolina where he had no help on ten other goals due to poor play/defense is not on him. Also Roloson let up just as poor a goal against Ottawa.

  • Nick Colombo

    So what you’re is the stats don’t tell the story of DP but do tell the story of the offense? They’re either right or wrong buddy. Trust me, they’re right. Subtract the 3 soft goals you speak of. Thats 27 in 7 games, still one of the worst in the league. It’s not easy to win that way, especially in a system where defense is not the top priority


    Stat based articles blaming DiPIetro in this case are not accurate or reflective on most of the goals scored against him and reflects you are not watching the games. He had one soft goal against Philadelphia, two against Carolina, Roloson had one against Ottawa he had to stop.

    The five on five numbers reflect the biggest problem. Hunter, Nielsen stuck on zero goals at five on five with many others at one is the real problem.

    DiPietro is 2-3-2, Biron a year ago was 2-11-1 in January.

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