Rick DiPietro

Not a repeat: Rick DiPietro leaves practice early after taking shot in the mask


Brace yourselves for this one everyone: Rick DiPietro left Islanders practice early today after being shaken up by a shot in the mask.

We know, this kind of earth-shattering news might make you stop in your tracks wondering if up is still up and down is still down. Arthur Staple of New York Newsday reports that it was a Brian Rolston slap shot to the head that did the trick for DiPietro this time and that his old school style mask bore the brunt of the blow. DiPietro had to switch to the old mask after he had his lights knocked out by Penguins goalie Brent Johnson last season.

Isles coach Jack Capuano said that DiPietro appeared to be OK. We know how these things go with DiPietro, however.

At some point you have to wonder if DiPietro’s house was built on an old cemetery or if he happened to make his Long Island home in Amityville in a certain horror house there. Fortunately for the Islanders, goaltending depth isn’t a worry this season as Al Montoya has started their first two games this season and looked brilliant all while Evgeni Nabokov waits in the wings as their third goalie.

DiPietro had yet to get in a game this year. We’ll see if this shot to the mask keeps him on the sidelines for any amount of time. In the meantime, DiPietro should avoid black cats, walking under ladders, and getting near any mirrors.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.