The New York Islanders announced last night that goaltender Al Montoya is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. Not even two days ago the Islanders were playing the game musical chairs with their goaltenders and now today it looks like Rick DiPietro has the starting seat.
Now, I know that the other two Islanders goalies are hurt and well it is shocking to not mention DiPietro among the injured. So yeah I guess you could say that he is earning his 15-year contract, right?
In the NHL injuries are never good but the Al Montoya injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Islanders. Nabokov left Thursday’s game with a groin injury and is expected to be out at least a month. The good news, if you want to say there could be good news for the Islanders right now is that they don’t face a back-to-back situation on their schedule until next weekend. Ideally, Montoya will be back in the lineup by the time the Islanders are really looking for a goaltender to share DiPietro’s workload.
Montoya has easily been the best goaltender for the Islanders over the first month and a half of the season. He leads all three goaltenders in goals against average and save percentage for a team that has struggled to find its way into the win column. Hey, at least there won’t be a goaltender controversy over the next few days.
The injuries give DiPietro time to shine as the team’s undisputed goaltender. All things being equal, the organization would much rather have their long-term investment be the dominant goaltender they hoped he would be when they signed him. Who knows how long Nabokov will be with the team and Montoya has been a pleasant surprise. But DiPietro will be with the team for the next decade. It would be nice if he could take over the #1 spot.
He’ll get his opportunity starting against the Bruins. Hopefully the Islanders utilize their young talent around DiPietro and get this team some much needed victories. DiPietro could be a hero here well that is if this all plays out the way it should have from day 1.