He may be a year and 6 days removed from his last NHL start, but he's still the fierce competitor he's always been.
Said Richard Park:
"Knowing Ricky's competitiveness, he wants in there to see 50 shots and he wants 50 saves. That's the type of person he is. That's how he wants to play."
Having seen what he's been through these past couple years, his teammates know how important this comeback is for him.
"I don't think anyone knows exactly how he's feeling emotionally right now, but this is a monumental moment for him," Park said, "Not that it's the icing on the cake, but he probably has a sense of gratification for all he's endured."
"I'm really impressed with how resilient he was throughout the whole ordeal.:
If anyone can empathize with DiPietro's injury misfortune, who has missed s significant chunk of time the past two seasons with various ailments. Sutton said he's had "about a million" talks with DiPietro about how to stay positive and expects him to be a stronger person and player as a result.
"I expect great things from him," Sutton said. "He has the mindset and ability to go above and beyond everyone else."
**To here more from DiPietro himself about his heralded NHL return, read here