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I don’t think there was a single Islanders fan not concerned from the start about the health of our prized goaltender Rick DiPietro. I was nervous that he was heading to the All-Star break, and even more nervous after the game last week where he appeared to injure his knee during the game. The last thing anyone wants is an injury to their goaltender towards the most important part of the year.

DiPietroDiPietro has a certain style of play, one that makes his hips and knees extremely vulnarable to injury because he is a butterfly goalie with very quick reactions and side to side movement. It’s no surprise that Ricky excelled during the shootout portions of last nights skills competition. What was the surprise however, was on a last ditch effort to make a save on Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik – DiPietro appeared to hurt his knee on the play. He could be heard over the microphone he was wearing speaking to Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas that he couldn’t continue, he “blew out his whole knee there” but that he was “alright, just didn’t want to make it worse”. I looked at my fiancee and my mouth dropped. No longer was I interested in the remainder of the skills competition, but that of the health and well being of our Number 1 goaltender.

When I woke up this morning, Chris Botta who is in attendance with The Rick – had posted an update on his blog. On Rick’s health status:

I jumped over a few barricades I wasn’t supposed to and made my way to the East locker room. I found Rick and he told me he was “a bit sore.” Then he told reporters he was “sore but it’s nothing bad and I’ll be playing Sunday.”

As far as I could tell, he didn’t spend any time on the trainer’s table. About 45 minutes later I saw him at the NHL bash. He was in great spirits, posing for photographs for anyone who requested and meeting up with family and friends.

Not exactly the most clear cut “thumbs up” from DiPietro on his status, but everyone who follows him knows that he will play through injuries and that really scares me. I love his competitiveness sometimes, just not when it has the potential to affect the remainder of his teams season.

Thanks for the heads up Botta, I was going to fire off an email to you as soon as I heard that last night – but I figured the rest of the contingent was on point – keep us updated!

Updated 12:12pm

According to Chris Botta, in yet another blog update:

Rick is in tonight.

On his way to a private lunch in his honor, Rick told us he was feeling great by the end of last night and was counting the minutes until 6:00 pm.

Botta also posts the opinion of Mattyboy – one of Islandermania’s message board members and how he felt was DiPietro playing for himself first and the team second. Botta pretty much puts that theory down – and it’s worth a read. He also touches on the bit of profanity that slipped out of DiPietro’s mouth – purely accidental I am sure as it has to be hard to remember you are wearing a microphone. Botta says he will sit down with Versus to make sure it doesn’t happen again – likely referencing how the microphone was left on…..at a time it clearly should have been turned off given the circumstances.