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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 PIT 30 20 6 4 98 71 44
2 TBL 33 20 10 3 110 87 43
3 NYI 31 21 10 0 99 89 42
4 MTL 32 20 10 2 87 80 42
5 DET 32 17 7 8 92 80 42
6 TOR 31 19 9 3 109 87 41
7 BOS 32 16 13 3 81 83 35
8 NYR 29 15 10 4 89 79 34
9 FLA 29 13 8 8 66 75 34
10 WSH 30 14 10 6 86 81 34
11 OTT 31 13 12 6 82 86 32
12 CBJ 30 13 15 2 72 95 28
13 BUF 32 13 17 2 62 100 28
14 NJD 33 11 16 6 74 96 28
15 PHI 30 11 14 5 80 90 27
16 CAR 30 8 19 3 62 87 19

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 31 12 15 -5 27
K. Okposo 31 7 20 -3 27
B. Nelson 31 13 11 4 24
R. Strome 31 6 15 10 21
F. Nielsen 31 6 11 0 17
N. Leddy 31 5 10 7 15
J. Boychuk 21 2 12 7 14
M. Grabovski 28 5 7 4 12
N. Kulemin 31 5 7 -3 12
T. Hickey 30 2 9 1 11
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 16 6 0 .917 2.35
C. Johnson 5 4 0 .868 3.59

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