19 September 2010
The #1 overall selection from the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Rick DiPietro, completed his first day of training camp in good spirits.
Ricky told NHL.com: "It's good to have a normal routine back, the last couple of years have been tough, but I've learned a lot of pretty important lessons. You take the positive out of all of that and move forward. I'm pretty optimistic and excited about the start of the season.”
It goes without saying that the Islanders’ franchise goaltender has had injury woes over the years; his cavalcade of injuries began during the 2008 All Star Weekend, and it would be fair to say that he has not been an effective netminder since.
DiPietro made a short-lived comeback last season, starting eight games for the Islanders, posting a 2-5-0 record with a 2.6 GAA and a .900 SV%. However, swelling in his left knee forced him to shut down, for the year.
Head Coach Scott Gordon noted that: “We're going to try to do everything right. Obviously, this was really the first all-out practice. If we don't feel like it's the right thing for [DiPietro] to skate tomorrow, we'll just let him have it off. We've got a long training camp here. We've just got to try to make sure that we do everything we can to allow him to be fully functional once the season starts. We haven't even been able to see him on the ice the first day the last two years, so this was a huge step in the right direction."
At any rate, Rick’s nightly presence between the posts will undoubtedly aid the Islanders in their struggle to make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the 2010-2011 NHL season.
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