"Come inside, the shows about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured youll get your moneys worth
The greatest show in heaven, hell or earth.
Youve got to see the show, its a dynamo.
Youve got to see the show, its rock and roll . . ."
- Emerson, Lake, & Palmer
The Isles went to NJ, and if you watched the pre-game show, you would have swore that this would be the night the Isles lost. Why? Because they were hyping it so much. Everyone was talking about how the Islanders ruled the Devils this season. How they had their number. And you know what happens when they hype things to the nines . . . usually Murphy's Law. And then the Isles tank under the hype.
Well, it did not happen last night. Instead, they showed once again this amazing ability to really take it to the Devils. No, Miroslav Satan did not come off his 10 game, now 11 game schnide. But Bill Guerin notched two goals, one an empty-netter at the end to make sure that the Devils stayed down below. Mike Sillinger had the game-winner. The defense stepped up, and held together, even if by a fray at the end of the 3rd period. Freddy Meyer once again showed some real nice play. Bryan Berard had a flashy 2nd period. Marc-Andre Bergeron is logging lots of minutes and playing much steadier. In fact, they had to play with only 5 when Chris Campoli left in the 1st period with a shoulder injury. He is to be re-evaluated today.
But, the real star, the man who would not be denied was none other than all-star Rick DiPietro who simply stunned the NJ crowd with amazing saves, excellent positioning, and stonewalling New Jersey's best efforts. He was star of the game, and might have even been performance of the year thus far for NHL goalies. Sure, a strong statement to what is some really great goalies and performances. But go take a good look at the highlights from that game.
This season has been the coming out party for DP, if anyone hasn't noticed, they might need to get their head out from under a rock. Yes, his stats are not as pristine as some. But he also does not have the defense in front of him as some. Despite the Isles sometimes piecemeal D, which has it's moments, Rick has been, besides the occasional bad night, playing at a high level. Moreover . . . he's been getting better.