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DiPietro faces setback

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
Wednesday morning’s practice was like any other for goaltender Rick DiPietro. That is, until he took a shot above his left brow from teammate Brian Rolston. The impact of the shot dented his Chris Osgood-style helmet and gave him a concussion in the process.

“It is what it is,” DiPietro said. “It happened. I’m just going to follow the steps to get back.”

Rick DiPietro warms up prior to the start of the game against the Florida Panthers on October 8, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
Just two days since taking the shot, DiPietro has a positive outlook.

“Every day has been better,” the goaltender said. “I’m just listening to what the doctors have to say. There is so much more that goes into (precautions with concussions) now as opposed to years past... so there is an advanced protocol you have to follow.”

He added some of his characteristic humor to lighten the mood. He said, “On the bright side, the puck didn’t go into the net so it counts as a save. I just have to shake it off and keep a positive outlook.”

Even though he’s trying to stay optimistic, dealing with injuries over the last three years has been difficult.

“It is frustrating,” DiPietro said. “I guess, in the end, you just have to tell yourself that the payoff is always going to be better than what it is now. You have to keep pushing.”

He added, “That’s the most frustrating part; I felt that my body, as far as my knees, I felt great. I felt like my game was where it needed to be. It was just getting sharp and working on things to make sure I was ready when I got the call. To have this happen, it’s kind of sucks.”

In the end, it was the Osgood-style mask which took the grunt of the demolition.

“(The puck) went right through the helmet,” DiPietro said. “It’s an older helmet. You can’t even find those anymore, so I thought it stood up pretty good. It was just like the perfect storm. It was (a shot from Brian) Rolston and the rolling puck.”

Despite the dent, DiPietro said he’d like to stay with the same style if possible.

“(We’re looking at) the same style, just more heavy duty,” DiPietro said. “There are a bunch of different options, but at this point, whatever is the most protective is what I’m going to wear.”

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