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Blog Entry

The pain drain

Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:17 pm
A few bumps and bruises are part of NHL training camps, but less than two weeks into them, the list of seriously continues to grow around the league.

Just in the last few days, Wild backup goalie Josh Harding wrecked his knee and will be gone for the year; Calgary’s Matt Stajan separated his shoulder and is out indefinitely; Flyers goalie Michael Leighton could miss up to six weeks with a bad back and Marc Savard announced that he is still suffering from post-concussion symptoms and has no idea when he’ll be ready to play for the Bruins.

Still the guy who might be missed the most by his team is New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit, one of the most under-recognized great free agent signings in recent memory and  someone who has returned full value on a contract that raised a lot of eyebrows when it was offered in 2008.

Streit has been one of the league’s top producing defensemen while in New York, averaging more than 50 points in each of his first two seasons to become one of the team’s top scorers. But after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder during a weekend scrimmage, he could be out of the season, a void coach Scott Gordon says is significant.

“I don’t think you can replace him,” Gordon said on the NHL radio network. “What Mark has accomplished here on Long Island, really without having the kind of supporting cast that other guys like him have, is amazing.

“It’s a big hole in our lineup because he plays a lot of minutes on both sides of the puck. It’s one thing when you lose a defenseman, but when he’s one of your top scorers on a team that doesn’t score a lot of goals, it’s huge.”

So is the possible the return of Rick DiPietro, the franchise goalie with the lifetime contract who has spent most of the last two seasons sidelined by a series of knee surgeries. Gordon has only gotten to coach DiPietro for about a dozen games combined in his two seasons behind the bench, so he was cautious with his optimism when it came to the netminder.

But Gordon noted the DiPietro is healthier than at any time during his tenure since he became coach, and is coming of a very good off-season conditioning effort.

“This was the first time in two years he had a summer in which he trained like a pro athlete instead of someone rehabbing,” Gordon said. “He came into camp with full strength of his legs, got on ice in August now we’re at the point where he’s on the right kind of schedule.”

Gordon said he was encouraged because DIPietro had no physical problems from the scrimmages in which he took part. The goalie could even get into a couple of pre-season games by the weekend.

“Everything has been great so far,” Gordon said. “Knock wood, where he’s come from and how hard he’s worked, it would be a great thing to see him in net opening night.”

Especially since Streit won’t be there.
Category: NHL

Since: Sep 29, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:47 am

The pain drain

First Streit, then Okposo end up on the IR.  We all know its only a matter of time before DiPietro joins them.  To bad as the Islanders are a good looking young team, but this may be to much for them to play through. 

Since: Jun 24, 2009
Posted on: September 29, 2010 9:28 pm

The pain drain

Sad, sad Islander fans. 

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:32 pm

The pain drain

i'm an Isles fan and i've already decided, i'm rooting for zenon kenopka to get the most PIM for the season. thats my Islanders!!! they will have a solid 1-2 goaltending tandom when DP goes down with an injury one last time and manny legace becomes an Isle. wait for it...

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2010 7:47 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2010 3:24 pm

The pain drain

It's going to get even tougher for the Islanders now that Okposo is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

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