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Montoya Starts Isles Home Opener

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

Saturday, 10.8.2011 / 11:44 AM ET / 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.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 8 6 5 2 11
K. Okposo 8 1 6 2 7
F. Nielsen 8 3 2 0 5
B. Nelson 8 1 4 -3 5
A. Quine 8 1 4 1 5
R. Strome 6 1 3 3 4
T. Hickey 8 1 3 -3 4
S. Prince 8 3 0 2 3
R. Pulock 4 1 2 -3 3
N. Leddy 8 0 3 2 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 3 0 .937 2.06
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