Saturday, March 8, 2008


The Sunday NHL columns hit mailboxes and computer screens in less than 24 hours. I predict at least a half-dozen hockey scribes, and probably more, will have their take on Ted's decision to start Dubie over DP on Thursday night.

For the record, I'll have no problem with any columnist offering their opinion. After all, gutsy and controversial decisions are what makes the world of sports go 'round. Major League Baseball thrives on this; it was kind of neat to give "Mike & the Mad Dog" something to talk about when they did almost five hours of Islanders hockey on Thursday.

What I will find shakey are any reports citing "sources" on the subject. What is there to source? From beginning to end, the Islanders were completely transparent on the subject. Even if you weren't one of the few with a press pass and notebook in our hallway on Thursday, you could have heard the head coach, the starting goalie for the night, the backup goalie, the GM, the team captain and even the team's owner share their thoughts over 50,000 clear-channel watts on WFAN.

There is nothing to second-guess. There was nothing to hide. Garth Snow suggested to his close friend and former goalmate DP that he take a day to heal from the mourning of his grandmother. Toward the end of his career as a goaltender, Garth lost his dad and a brother. He is also close to Rick's family. The GM gave advice both from the mind and from the heart.

Dubie started and won on Tuesday. True to his word - "there's a great chance Dubie will start on Thursday" - Ted went back with Wade for the rematch at the Coliseum. The Islanders lost, but it wasn't their goaltending that let them down.

Tonight in Philadelphia, with two full practices and two morning skates under his belt, DiPietro gets the start against the Flyers. Ted has implied Rick will likely start the rest of the way. End of story.

Yeah, right.

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