The Islanders Informer
Entries with the tag: Evgeni Nabokov
The “showcase” on Monday night against the Boston Bruins didn’t quite work out for Evgeni Nabokov and the Islanders brass. Supposedly, the goal was to showcase Nabokov to other teams in hopes that Nabokov would have a stellar performance and would become a commodity on the trade market. The showcase quickly went downhill after Nabokov gave up three early goals and was pulled in the first period.
The “showcase” was a bad idea in my mind. The Isles didn’t need to use one of their few nationally televised games to play Nabokov. This was all done at the expense of Al Montoya not starting for the seventh straight game. Montoya came on in relief of Nabokov in the first period and played well even though he certainly showed some rust. Montoya stopped 22 of 24 shots in relief, but can’t really be blamed for either of the two goals.
In four starts this season for the Islanders, Evgeni Nabokov has compiled a 2.23 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Nabokov did give up two goals last night in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Penguins, but he played very solid and stopped 30 of 32 shots. There has been much talk amid rumors that the Isles are using Nabokov as trade bait because the Islanders have a surplus of goalies both at the NHL and AHL levels. If that is in fact the case, Nabokov has shown that he can still be a very quality goalie in the NHL and other teams should be intrigued by his play so far this season.
Al Montoya and Nabokov have been awarded all eight starts so far this season. Both goalies have started four games each. Montoya has compiled a 2-2 record with a 2.02 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Overall, both goalies have played very well. My guess is that Rick DiPietro will get a start either Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks or next Thursday when the Winnipeg Jets come to Long Island.
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 Islanders top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares, and PA Parenteau has been stellar the last three games. Last night, in a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers, Tavares netted a hat trick and added an assist, Moulson added one goal and one assist, and Parenteau registered three helpers. Against the Rangers, the Islanders top line totaled nine points. The line also registered eight shots on goal and was a collective +6 on the night.
After three games, NY Islanders goalie Al Montoya sports a 2-1 record, a .953 save percentage, and a sparkling 1.35 GAA. For at least the time being, Montoya has cemented himself as the Isles #1 goaltender.
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano was recently asked whether Evgeni Nabokov, Al Montoya, and Rick DiPietro would all begin the season on the NHL roster. According to Brett Cyrgalis at the NY Post, Capuano responded:
Are we leaning that way? I’m not going to lie to you, we probably are. But we haven’t really determined who plays where and when.
Last night, in a 2-0 loss to the Calgary Flames, Evgeni Nabokov played in his first game with the New York Islanders. Nabokov played 40 minutes and overall looked steady. It is expected that Nabokov will be rusty at least in the short-term due to being out of the NHL all of last season. Nabokov has never really been known for handling the puck, but that was one glaring area of weakness last night. There were a number of times when Nabokov misplayed the puck that almost resulted in Flames goals. On a positive note, Nabokov stopped 15 of 16 shots and looked pretty solid in net.
The Islanders open their preseason slate on Friday night when they face the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. The Islanders will play three games in five nights to kickoff the preseason as they face the Devils on Saturday night in their home opener in Nassau Coliseum and then play the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night in a game televised by the NHL Network. The Friday and Saturday games will not be televised, but will be streamed live on newyorkislanders.com.