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by Chris Botta / New York Islanders

Magazine forecasts Rick's emergence as one of the top 3 goaltenders in the NHL

Rick DiPietro
In the year-end issue of Sports Illustrated, Hockey Hall of Fame writer Michael Farber uses one of his 2008 forecasts to predict continued greatness for Islanders star goaltender and United States Olympic goalie Rick DiPietro.
Writes Farber: "The Islanders' Rick DiPietro, 26, will be among the NHL's top three goalies by the end of the year. His poise and maturity have finally caught up to his seemingly limitless talent."
The national recognition is well-deserved. This season DiPietro is 16-13-2 with a 2.47 goals against average and .910 save percentage. But that doesn't even come close to telling the story of what DiPietro means to the Islanders. Beyond his exceptional puck-stopping skills, his ability to play the puck makes the Islanders a significantly better team in their own end. And make no mistake that along with captains Bill Guerin, Mike Sillinger and Brendan Witt, the former first overall pick in 2000 is one of the leaders of this team. DiPietro should be chosen as the Islanders' representative at this year's All-Star Game
The Islanders face the Florida Panthers on Thursday at 7:05 pm at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Ted Nolan stated on Sunday that DiPietro was likely to return to the lineup to play the Panthers. For the official word on DiPietro's status, check on Wednesday. 

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LI Students: Ring in the New Year with the Islanders for just $10
College students home on Long Island for the holiday break will want to be part of Loudville on Thursday when the Islanders host the Florida Panthers at the Coliseum at 7:05 pm.
Loudville is the wildest cheering section of young fans in the National Hockey League. And best of all, seats can be purchased for just $10 each.

LOUDVILLE tickets go on sale Thursday beginning at 6:00 pm. There are a limited number of seats available per game, so arrive early to secure a seat. Remember to bring your Student ID! There is a limit of one $10 LOUDVILLE ticket per ID. Once you get to the LOUDVILLE section, do your part to help lead the crowd in giving the Islanders the best home-ice advantage in the NHL!
This is the last Islanders home game for two weeks and the last home game of the holiday break!

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