The Islanders Informer
by William Morrison on 10/19/11 at 03:59 PM ET
Earlier today, head coach Jack Capuano said that Al Montoya, Evgeni Nabokov, and Rick DiPietro will travel with the team on their two game road trip that begins on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning and concludes against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
The fact that DiPietro is traveling with the team tells me a couple of things. First, I’m assuming that he has passed all of the concussion tests necessary to be cleared to play after receiving a scare when he was hit in the mask by a Brian Rolston slap shot last week in practice. Second, if DiPietro is in fact 100% healthy or close to it, he will probably get one of the two starts in Florida. DiPietro hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet this season and Montoya and Nabokov have both played really well.
Montoya should get at least one of the starts on the road trip. In my opinion, Montoya should have started last Saturday against the New York Rangers because he was riding such a hot streak, but Capuano wanted to give Nabokov a chance. All three goalies will be given an equal chance to win one of the two jobs, but Montoya is clearly the front runner so far. Montoya is now third in the NHL in GAA with a stellar 1.35 and is fourth in save percentage at .953.
So, what happens if DiPietro earns a couple of starts and plays tremendously well? It would be a good problem for the Isles to have three goalies playing at the top of their game. With that being said, the Islanders will not keep three goalies on the NHL roster all season. There has been much speculation that Nabokov will be traded if he has a few solid, productive starts. I haven’t been a big advocate of trading Nabokov this early in the season, especially with the health concerns of DiPietro. My hope is that DiPietro is 100% and plays well in a couple of starts within the next week or so and then the Isles will have to make a decision. I think the Isles should keep three goalies for the next few weeks and see what happens. I think the best situation for the Isles would be for all three to play well, Montoya and DiPietro to win the two jobs on the NHL roster, and then for the Isles to trade Nabokov and get a quality player or two in return.
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Welcome to The Islanders Informer. TII will be a forum for discussion, debate, and both Islander and hockey related news.
I'm an attorney by day and hockey fan by night. I'm always open to feedback, suggestions, agreements, disagreements, opinions, and discussion.