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"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
Yann Danis came to an Islanders team that had two goalies signed with one-way contracts, one of which belonged to Rick DiPietro who is here for the next decade and then some. It was all but assured that Yann would spend the season with the Isles AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, but season ending surgery to DP caused a change in plans and so far it has worked out in Yann's favor.

The injury to Ricky led to Danis getting a few games to start as the back-up to Joey MacDonald. Mac has played well all season but was forced to sit a few weeks after sustaining an injury of his own. This allowed Danis to take over the starting reigns. In just a few months Yann went from third-string to NHL starter and hasn't looked back since.

Currently Danis has a 2.63 GAA and a .922 save %; very respectable stats for a goaltender playing on a team that seems certain to finish in last place. It's also important to note that his stats were not consistent and are more of a recent development due to growing confidence from the coaching staff and in himself.

During the post-game when the Isles faced the Washington Capitals back in January, coach Scott Gordon made a few remarks that indicated that he was unhappy with the way that Yann had been playing, claiming that the team was "giving up the wrong goals at the wrong time of the game." The Isles lost 2-1 that night. When I spoke to Yann after the game, he said that he felt that the coaching staff had been showing confidence in him since he was playing every night, but the look on his face indicated to me that he knew that this may be a short-term deal once Mac came back. After all, he was still the third-string goalie.

However, Yann has been on a tare since then and posted his first shut-out as an Islander in a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils last Saturday night, turning 40 shots aside. He's become a bit of a fan-favorite and a goaltender the fans seem to feel they can rely on in close situations.

The Islanders have been criticized for not handling Rick DiPietro as well as they should by letting him play nearly every game and rushing him back from injuries. This has prompted reporters and fans to worry about the teams future since Rick is still young and in the early-stages of a lifetime contract. It has been suggested that the Isles should find a back-up for next season that is capable of playing the starting role if Ricky were to get hurt again like this in order to prevent the rebuilding phase of this team from slowing down. If the rest of the team is developing but the goaltending isn't remaining consistent, this team will not improve.

So is Danis the one the Isles will turn to? Maybe Joey MacDonald? A seasoned veteran?

It's very hard to say at this point, but right now the third-string goalie that didn't have much expected out of him is turning some heads and I'm sure this will be something that Snow will keep in mind when addressing this area of concern this off-season.

-Rob McGowan
February 24, 2009 9:12 PM ET | Delete
Hes better then Macdonald but i still hope DP gets healthy.
February 25, 2009 12:09 AM ET | Delete
Where would the Islanders be without Danis and MacDonald.Refreshing to see all have not gone down with the ship. That being said I think its about time to not just find a backup for DP next year if its not one of the before mentioned but its time to find DP's replacement . The injuries he has suffered so frequently leads me to believe that he will not be able to come back and reach his potential for any significant amount of time nevermind reach the end of his contract in a productive manor. Time for Islander fans to realize that DP could end up being not what everyone thinks he can be and start seeing him for what he is.
February 25, 2009 10:51 AM ET | Delete
did the GM know he was injury prone when he signed him for 15 years?
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