Rick DiPietro

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The Couch With Erol Bal

Erol Bal talks about Islanders Hockey and answers fans questions.

Erol Bal on the couch chatting Isles Hockey

Erol Bal answers fans questions about our beloved NY Islanders

DiPietro; Salt In An Open Wound

(Photo Credit: xjowell/Flickr)

It was reported yesterday that Rick DiPietro was being sent home for medical evaluations before the road trip even began as he had sustained yet another injury to add to the many setbacks of his career. Mike Mottau was also returned to Long Island with an upper-body injury. However, the story surrounding DiPietro is that this guy hadn't been playing; he was already on the Injured Reserve.

You have to wonder how a guy like Rick finds a way to injure himself while he is already...well...injured. He wasn't playing in games, although he had been skating on the ice. And according to Art Staple of Newsday, DiPietro wasn't even close to dressing as a back-up for any of the games on this road trip that saw them play Carolina last night, Anaheim on Friday and Phoenix on Saturday.

Islanders travel to Carolina for their first meeting of the season

The Islanders start on a 3 game road trip and look to continue their 2 game winning streak. The first stop on the trip is visiting the last place in the Eastern Conference Hurricanes. This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. The two teams are currently tied at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and the Islanders will look to change that with a win.

The lines from the Islanders practice Sunday stayed the same from the game against the Oilers. They were:

Moulson-Tavares-Okposo

Rolston-Nielsen-Parenteau

Grabner-Bailey-Martin

Niederreiter-Reasoner-Wallace

One of the bigger stories for this road trip is that Rick DiPietro will be making the trip as a 3rd goalie. There hasn’t been a report yet on whether or not he will play or dress during the trip. DiPietro has been out with a groin injury since December 3rd. Andres Nilsson is still currently with the team on loan from Bridgeport and is expected to dress with the Islanders until DiPietro is ready to play. DiPietro has had his struggles this season before the injury so hopfully he has had enough time to heal from the injury and also work on his game. The other news coming out of Islanders practice Sunday was that Micheal Haley was returned to Bridgeport. With the team starting to get healthier he was no longer needed.

Isles Injuries Starting To Mount

(Photo Credit: cincyhockey11/Flickr)

When you think of the New York Islanders and associate the word "injury" to their name, you automatically think of all the man-games lost by this team over the past few years and immediately think of the infamous Rick DiPietro. But right now, the injury bug is starting to bite in places other than the 15-year man's knees.

Brian Rolston was placed on the Injured Reserve retroactive to Dec 15th due to a concussion he sustained during the team's 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars this passed Thursday. He left the game and did not return and has not played since.This has allowed Nino Niederreiter to return to the line-up without their having to be any major changes to the roster.

Other players, like Tim Wallace, have been getting extra playing time as well. Although Wallace has previous NHL experience with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he really hasn't been all that impressive.

Nabby Returns, But For How Long?

(Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)

The Islanders announced on their home page yesterday that goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was close to making his return to the Islanders line-up.

Per the Isles official web-site:

“Nabby is close,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said after practice at Iceworks. “He’s been practicing. Yesterday and today, he had good days.”

Three Out Of Four Ain't Bad- Islanders/Blackhawks Pregame

The New York Islanders haven’t had many important December games recently.

That changes tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Hit On Nino Warrants Suspsension For Stars Defenseman

(Photo Credit: theseoduke/Flickr)

The Islanders won a hard fought 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night, and it can be termed hard fought for many reasons; the Isles saw a three-goal lead get washed away to a tie in the second period; Rick DiPietro pulled his groin, forcing Al Montoya to start the third period; the Stars kept coming back on the score board; and last but not least, Nino Niederreiter left the game with a concussion after a devastating hit from Stars defenseman, Mark Fistric.

Moulson Is Seeing Stars

Matt Moulson scored the first four-goal game of his NHL career Saturday night against the Dallas Stars; it was also the first individual four-goal game of the 2012 season. As a result, the Islanders were able to hold on for a thrilling 5-4 win.

Although the win is what ultimately matters most for the Islanders, who took seven out of eight possibly points on their four-game road trip, Moulson was the recipient of this week's NHL's First Star honors.

Have The Isles Become Montoya's Team?

Al Montoya has been superb this season for the New York Islanders, but with Rick DiPietro here for several more years, how much longer will his run actually last?