New York Islanders: Why Rick DiPietro Being Hurt Is a Plus for the Team

Jim GillespieContributor IDecember 6, 2011

Is that a puck in Dipietro's glove? What? He actually made a save?
Is that a puck in Dipietro's glove? What? He actually made a save?Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

What a surprise, Rick DiPietro is hurt again after a miserable start against the Dallas Stars

Now, I'll give Ricky a break. He's been on and off injury for the past few years and I'm sure it's affecting his game to some point, but that is not what the Isles need now. 

With DiPietro hurt, the Islanders are going to start relying more on a goaltender who has really been proving himself as of late, Al Montoya. 

Montoya has really shown his worth lately. He's been a top notch goalie his past few starts and I'm sure he is excited to keep it going.

The Islanders have really turned their game around as of late. The hot streak of Matt Moulson and the resurgence of Kyle Okposo (or what I hope is a resurgence of Kyle Okposo) is an extremely big plus for the team, something DiPietro is not. And with the injuries of Nino Niederreiter, Michael Grabner, Andrew MacDonald, and Jay Pandolfo, the Islanders need a goaltender they can rely on. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I would love to see DiPietro back on the ice with the form he had a few years back. Unfortunately for him, he hasn't played anywhere near that play. 

The other plus that has risen from Ricky's injury is the calling up of Kevin Poulin. The "Poulin Wall" put up great numbers last season while sharing minutes with Al Montoya. Ironically, the Islanders best play last year was the second half of the season, during which time Al Montoya and Kevin Poulin were playing a big chunk of the games.

If the Isles can get Nino and Grabner back sooner than later, Al Montoya keeps up his stellar play, and Kevin Poulin shows himself as a strong netminder, the Isles just might be on the verge of a turn around.