Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 11/26/13 at 02:32 AM ET
Former New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro tells the Globe and Mail's Viv Bernstein that he's doing quite well in the AHL at least on a personal basis, and the current Charlotte Checkers (the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliate) goaltender tells Bernstein that he's very happy to be taking one final kick at the pro hockey can, but it sounds like DiPietro's going to have to move on to the next stop if he is to resurrect his career:
DiPietro has had a difficult start with Charlotte. He is 0-4 with a 5.18 goals-against average and an .846 save percentage in his first five games, including a 4-3 loss to the Rockford IceHogs on Sunday in which he made 26 saves. On a recent night when [Hurricanes GM Jim] Rutherford went to a mostly empty Time Warner Cable Arena to watch him play, DiPietro allowed five goals on 15 shots against the Hershey Bears and was pulled midway through the second period of a 5-3 loss.
“He doesn’t have his confidence now,” said Rutherford, a former NHL goalie. “That position, more than any other position in hockey, it’s important to have your confidence, and so he’s probably thinking too much while the game’s on, which isn’t a good thing.”
DiPietro conceded that it had been tough.
“I came here having not practised with a professional team or really organized practices at all, and having new equipment and new skates and everything else, and then just jumping into a game probably wasn’t the best thing to do,” he said. “But at the end of the day, games are the only way you can really get that exposure to what you need to try to get sharp.”
But DiPietro may be running out of time. The Hurricanes’ starting goalie, Cam Ward, is back from a groin injury. Although Ward’s backup, Anton Khudobin, remains out, the third-string goalie, Justin Peters, has played well. The Hurricanes and the Checkers have six goalies between them. Rutherford said a move would most likely be made this week.
“Best-case scenario for him was he came in immediately and played well and Justin Peters didn’t play well,” Rutherford said of DiPietro. “But it didn’t work that way. Justin Peters played extremely well, and Rick didn’t get back to the level that we would have expected him to in a short period of time.”
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