Archive for February, 2013

Fishstickcity.com

Posted in Islanders on February 23, 2013 by EAST SIDE RYNO

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Yesterday was the debut of the new website “Fishstickcity.com.” It’s a website I created that is a part of 5 Borough Sports. The website will have all daily Islanders news stories, along with game recaps and memories of the historical franchise. You can read all Fishstick articles right here on 5 Borough Sports as well. Here is a link to the website along with info about the new site. Enjoy.

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With my dad at the Nassau Coliseum – February 18, 2013

I created “Fishstick City” to talk New York Islanders hockey from the perspective of a Manhattan native. It’s simple – if you’re raised in New York City, you’re a Rangers fan. I grew up a mile away from Madison Square Garden, but surprisingly I loathe everything about the New York Rangers organization.

You might ask, how did I become an Islander fan growing up in Manhattan? The truth is, my father is an Islanders fan who grew up in Queens. After he graduated from Fordham University, his college friend Pete Hanley got a job at Newsday and Pete covered the Islanders in the late 1970’s.  Whenever Pete wasn’t able to make it to the Coliseum, he would give my dad a press pass for the Islanders game. With the press pass, my father watched the Islanders quickly rise to being a Stanley Cup contender. I was born in 1988, so I missed the glory days at the Coliseum. But my dad has taught me all about the great Islanders moments from the early 80’s. I attended my first hockey game when I was six years old on March 26, 1995. Instead of taking the subway to the Garden, my dad and I drove out to Uniondale to watch the Islanders take on the Devils. We sat mid-ice and watched an epic battle between the lowly Isles and the heavily-favored Devils. The game ended in a 5-5 tie but the Islanders played their hearts out. Ziggy Palffy scored a goal while Ray Ferraro notched a goal and two assists. The Islanders would finish the 1995 season with a terrible record 15-28-5, last in the Atlantic Division. But from that day on, I became a die-hard fan of this struggling franchise.

A casual fan may not know the history of the Islanders franchise. Today everyone sees the Islanders as the laughingstock of the NHL. But there was once a time when the Islanders were the greatest franchise in all of sports. It’s hard to realize that the Islanders are still the last franchise to have won four straight world championships (1980-83). Here at “Fishstick City,” we will discuss everything there is to know about Islanders hockey. From the history of the franchise to the recent trasactions to my personal experiences with this hockey club, this website is dedicated to everything Islanders hockey. To begin, here is a video made in 2006 about the history of the New York Islanders. Enjoy:

At the Coliseum during Islanders Practice - March 2002

March 2002 – At an Islanders Practice at the Coliseum

In 2002 with Islanders captain Michael Peca

In 2002 with Islanders captain Michael Peca

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The End of the Rick DiPietro Era

Posted in Islanders on February 23, 2013 by EAST SIDE RYNO

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2/22/13 – 11:33am: Islanders place goalie Rick DiPietro on Waivers

It’s hard to believe that the DiPietro era is coming to an end for the New York Islanders. For seven years, Islanders fans have been tortuned by the most infamous deal in sports history. When the Isles signed Rick DiPietro prior to the 2006 season for 15 years, $67.5 million, it seemed like an absurd deal. But at the time, DiPietro looked like he was well on his way to becoming a franchise goaltender. He was the first overall pick in the 2000 NHL draft and by 2005 he was heading into his prime as an NHL goalie. He started 63 games in 2005-06 and 30 games. In the 2006-07 season (the first season of his new contract), he was one of hockey’s best goal-tenders with a 32-19-9 record and an impressive 2.58 GAA. But that was the last positive season DP would ever have in an Islanders uniform. Instead of explaining this disastrous career, here’s  a timeline of DiPietro’s career since the 2007 season:

March 13, 2007: DiPietro suffers concussion vs. Montreal

DiPietro collides with Canadiens’ forward Steve Begin while trying to poke check. He would return four games later, but sustain another concussion against the Rangers later in the season. DiPietro returned for the first round playoff series against Buffalo, but the Isles were eliminated in five games.

2007 off-season: DiPietro undergoes surgery to fix a torn labrum in his hip

DiPietro came back healthy for the 2007-08 season. He finished the season with a 26-28-7 record and a 2.82 GAA. DP was also named the Eastern Conference starting goaltender in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game. The Islanders failed to make the playoffs.

June 3, 2008: DiPietro undergoes knee surgery

Missed the first four games of the season, but returned for the fifth game at Florida. During his third game back, DiPietro left the game with an “undisclosed lower body injury.”

November 1, 2008: DiPietro Undergoes Second Knee Surgery

DiPietro gets a second knee surgery on the same meniscus that was repaired the previous June. DiPietro returned for one more game late in December 2008, but then sat out the rest of the season due to re-injuring his knee.

January 8, 2010: DiPietro Returns to the Ice for the First Time in Over a Year

DiPietro would lose 5 of his 7 starts in the 2009-10 season. His final start was on February 6th in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. I had the pleasure of watching that blowout behind the net.

February 13, 2010: DiPietro listed as Day-to-Day with the Flu / Swelling of Left Knee

Done for the season.

December 21, 2010: DiPietro placed on Injured Reserve due to Knee Swelling

Eight days later, DP miraculously returns and defeats the Penguins!

February 2, 2011: “The Fight” – Out Indefinitely

In the waning seconds of a terrible Islanders game at Pittsburgh, DiPietro engaged in a goalie-goalie fight against Brent Johnson. Not knowing that Johnson was a lefty, DP was knocked out with one punch. DiPietro was out for 4-6 weeks with a swollen jaw, and of course – swelling in his left knee.

November 2011: Injures Groin – Out for Season

DiPietro started the 2011-12 strong with a solid 25 save performance against the Capitals. But shortly after, DiPietro was sidelined with a groin injury. He later underwent surgery to repair a hernia in the groin region; therefore missing the remainder of the season.

February 22, 2013: DiPietro Placed on Waivers

From 2008-2012, Rick DiPietro played in a total of 47 games for the Islanders. This deal has ultimately made the Isles’ front office a laughing stock in the NHL. No team in their right mind would pick up an injury prone goaltender who’s guaranteed more money than almost anyone in the league, so Rick is likely headed to AHL -Bridgeport. There have been rumors circulating that the Islanders are looking to buy out his contract at the end of the year. If so, maybe this organization can put this terrible decision behind them and look to the bright future.

Sidenote

DiPietro may have been a bust, but whoever throws a punch at Sean Avery is a hero in my book: