FROM THE RADIO BOOTH

Monday, 09.18.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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FROM THE RADIO BOOTH
Camp Competition in Goal

By Steve Mears
Islanders play-by-play broadcaster
Bloomberg 1130

(YARMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA) When you're talking about having "depth," it's usually reserved for conversations about forwards, defensemen, or fishing off the coast in the Atlantic.  Although it's not mentioned as frequently, having depth in the goaltender's position is just as vital as having it at any position for a contending team. 

Even at his recent press conference, Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro said he could not possibly play all 82 games and no goaltender should.  One position that has yet to be officially determined at Islanders training camp in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia is the role of backing up the talented netminder.  Some qualifications for the job include: being an all-around positive influence, being mentally sharp even after long periods of sitting on the bench, and being able to win on any given night when you're called upon.

The Islanders have six goaltenders in camp, including DiPietro, who bring a mixture of veteran leadership, youth, and terrific puck-stopping ability.  Ten-year veteran Mike Dunham has been invited to Yarmouth and looks forward to getting to work and earning the role. 

"Right now, I'm just trying to get the rust off," said Dunham.  "It takes a while to get your timing going after four months off.  Hopefully, I can get my game to where it needs to be for the exhibition games."

With general manager Garth Snow having spent the last three seasons as a complement to DiPietro, the Islanders could once again lean toward having a veteran presence in the backup role.  Dunham clearly realizes the opportunity and knows a bond between the players at hockey's most important position is vital.

"It certainly helps to have a great relationship," he said.  "Garth and Rick worked well together over the last few years and hopefully now things can work out for me here on the Island.  Obviously, Rick is one of the top goalies in the league and it would be great to work with him and push him to be even better."

Camp also includes netminders Wade Dubielewicz, Chris Madden, Billy Thompson and 23-year old Mike Mole, who stopped 14 of 15 shots in the Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday.

"I don't care if he's 60 or 19 as long as he wins," said head coach Ted Nolan when asked whether age is a factor in deciding his club's backup goaltender.  "It's a position that will require a lot of mental toughness and the ability to stay sharp, both physically and mentally when you're possibly not playing for extended periods of time.  There are definitely jobs to be won and lost at this camp and this is a great example."

As a side note, while writing this edition of "From the Radio Booth," I was reminded of one of the most underrated records in sports history.  Glenn Hall, who spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks, played an NHL-record 552 consecutive games in goal from 1955 to 1962.  Not too bad for a guy who didn't wear a mask and admitted he was constantly nervous before and during games.  Even with today's superb athletes and talented young netminders in the NHL, Hall's record for not missing a minute of action through over seven seasons is one which will probably never be broken. 

The Islanders are hoping the start of a long streak like Hall's won't be necessary and that their team's "depth" extends into the goal crease.   

 

More from Yarmouth

 

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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