Montoya: “I’m going to ride it out as long as I can.”

The Islanders goaltender feels lucky he's been given this opportunity

Tuesday, 10.11.2011 / 3:26 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Montoya: \u201CI\u2019m going to ride it out as long as I can.\u201D
When selecting Al Montoya as the starting goaltender on Opening Night, Head Coach Jack Capuano explained that the Islanders coaching staff decided to “go with their gut.”

For Montoya, it was a welcome surprise.

“I had no idea (I’d get the start),” Montoya said. “I saw the lineup just like everybody else did. I finished the year off strong last year and wanted to just keep that rolling. I came in to camp with the right mindset and I got the nod from the coaches.”

Al Montoya salutes the crowd after being named the star of the game in the defeat of the Minnesota Wild on October 10, 2011. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
That night, the Islanders lost 2-0 to the Florida Panthers, but Montoya made 27 saves.

Rather than making any drastic changes to the lineup, the coaching staff chose to throw out the game tape from opening night and give the same lineup a second chance. With that decision, Montoya got his second start.

Monday afternoon, the Islanders took a two-goal lead in the first period and despite seven Minnesota Wild power plays, including two 5-on-3 opportunities, Montoya stood tall. He only let up one goal, despite the team being outshot 18-5 in the final 40 minutes.

Whether or not Capuano continues to roll with the hot hand, Montoya will be prepared to play.

“You are always ready, you have to be ready, you never know when your chance is going to come,” Montoya said. “For me, that’s how I prepare. I prepare to be ready to play every single night.”

Ever since training camp, the coaching staff has indicated that each night’s start would go to the netminder who deserved to play and they would ride him until one of the team’s other choices played better.

In the first two games of the 2011-12 season, Montoya has given up three goals on 50 shots (.940 SV% and 1.53 GAA). The Islanders have only put 41 shots (27 and 14 respectively) on the oppositions’ goaltenders, leaving it up to the 26-year-old goaltender to shoulder the load.

“This is great,” Montoya said. “It’s everything I’ve trained for, for however many years it’s been. I worked hard this summer to be in this position and yeah, I’m having fun. I’m going to ride it out as long as I can.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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