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Montoya Starts Isles Home Opener

Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano: "We're going with our gut feeling."

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 11:44 AM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Montoya Starts Isles Home Opener
 
With three goaltenders competing for one spot, the starting goaltender for tonight’s Islanders Home Opener at Nassau Coliseum has been a hot topic of conversation. Not until this morning did Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano announce his decision to start goaltender Al Montoya.

Al Montoya warms up prior to the game against the Boston Bruins at the Webster Bank Arena on October 1, 2011. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Capuano wasn’t overly specific when he talked about his decision. When addressing the media, Capuano said, “We’re going with our gut feeling.”

After a number of injuries to the goaltending position last season, the Islanders acquired Montoya in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 9. From that point on, Montoya played in 20 games for the Islanders and led the team to nine wins, five losses and five overtime losses.

Montoya is grateful for the opportunity the Islanders gave him. After spending the majority of his professional career in the American Hockey League, with just five NHL games for the Coyotes in 2008-09, Montoya held a .921 save percentage and 2.39 goals against average last season.

“I have to thank the guys here in this organization for giving me the opportunity and believing in me,” Montoya said, who signed a one-year extension Mar. 29. “I feel like I was stuck in place for a long time and you never know who’s watching. I got my chance last year and I’m going to try to do my best with it this year.”

Earning the nod on Opening Night is a feat he was hoping to achieve.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Montoya said. “We have great goalies here, but I got the nod tonight, so I’m just going to go and run with it. I’ve prepared as best as I could for tonight and this summer, so I’m looking forward to it.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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