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Canucks hang rookie DiPietro out to dry in NHL debut

Sharks Canucks Hockey

Vancouver Canucks goalie Michael DiPietro (75) makes save as San Jose Sharks’ Marcus Sorensen, of Sweden, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)


You’d think the Vancouver Canucks would want to give their rookie netminder -- making his NHL debut at the tender age of 19 -- a fighting chance.

You’d think.

Instead, Michael DiPietro was the victim of a brutal effort by his teammates in front of him against the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.

The Sharks scored on their first shot of the game and had goals inside their first four shots. And it only got worse from there.

Six goals were scored on DiPietro in the first 40 minutes of the game, including three on five second-period shots. And if you watch all six of the goals scored against him, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that couldn’t have been prevented by better play.

Here’s one example:

Here’s another of Canucks defensemen Ben Hutton scoring on DiPietro:

DiPietro was thrust into action after Jakob Markstrom was pulled from his scheduled start due to tightness in his lower-body.

DiPietro was called up from Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League on an emergency basis a week ago after Thatcher Demko went down injured.

The Canucks let DiPietro take his first few strides alone on the ice during the warmup. Who knew it would be a foreshadowing of things to come.

He’d go on to allow seven goals on 24 shots in a 7-2 loss.

Welcome to the NHL, indeed.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck