Friday, January 11, 2008

Rick DiPietro, All-Star

[Programming Note: Warm up for Isles vs. Flames with Cornell vs. RPI at 7 PM on SNY. Another hat tip to Neil Best. Great doubleheader!]

Congratulations to Rick DiPietro on being selected to appear in his first All-Star Game. I have no doubt that he will represent the Islanders well in Atlanta and I'm really looking forward to watching him perform in the festivities. Some may point to his numbers and say that they are not quite on par with All-Star status and, based on numbers, other goalies should have been selected ahead of him. However, his actual play and his value to the team certainly support the honor. It is apparent that the league has taken notice of his performance under those criteria, and DiPietro deserves to go.

Wouldn't it be nice, though, if there could be some debate over who should represent the Isles? The only other name that seemed to surface with any frequency in such discussions was Brendan Witt. Going by the same criteria of quality of play and value to the team, Witt would not have been a bad choice. But the lack of skaters who merit serious consideration of being celebrated with the league's best troubles me. And it reminds me a little too much of a time in this franchise's history when Scott LaChance was being sent to represent the Isles because anyone else would have been laughable. Fortunately, this team gets much better results on the ice that those teams did. In the end, having All-Star talent is far less important than having a good team.


Dominik said...

If it weren't for Martinek's injury, his campaign might've taken off :)

Seriously, good point about DP's stats. With his play, he has been All-Star worthy in my head all season long, so much that I forgot that his stats might not "measure up" to the outside observer.

But I think every other team with a goaltender who has a case for the team also has another player who won't look out of place in Atlanta.

Outsider said...

He really has arrived...even Mike Keenan has glowing things to say.