Don’t count the New York Islanders out yet, says former NHL goaltender Rick DiPietro.
DiPietro, who now co-hosts the Hahn & Humpty show on ESPN 98.7, was a guest on the Andrew Walker show on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Friday and discussed the Islanders’ recent success. After firing head coach Jack Capuano on Jan. 17, the Islanders are 4-0-1 including a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night.
“Last night was validation of the way this team has played over the last couple games,” DiPietro said. “Unfortunately they got behind themselves in a pretty deep hole to start the season.”
That deep hole was a 4-5-0 October as the club struggled to put together a win streak. Doug Weight was promoted to head coach role after Capuano was fired and DiPietro credits the new bench boss with getting John Tavares and other key players back on track.
“Doug Weight had a chance to play with John Tavares and so John sees him as a mentor,” DiPietro said. “And now [Tavares] gets to go on a run and I think it’s just trickled down through the whole team.”
DiPietro had a surprise for viewers of Thursday’s game on MSG Network in New York. After Thomas Greiss got the win against Habs goaltender Carey Price, DiPietro ripped his dress shirt open to reveal a “Greiss is Right” shirt.
Walker asked him how he made the stunt possible. DiPietro said he had the shirt on all game, waiting for just the right moment to unleash the surprise.
“I will admit I had to go buy a dress shirt that I was comfortable ripping off,” DiPietro said. “I had confidence the team was going to pull it out.”
You can listen to the full interview here.