The Islanders Informer
by William Morrison on 09/30/11 at 01:16 PM ET
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.
I like the idea of the Isles starting the season with three goalies on the roster, but they can’t go too far into the season not knowing who their number one goalie is. The team can go through the 82 game season with having two number one goalies essentially alternating starts, but having three on the roster for a majority of the season would be a mistake. At this point in the preseason, it would be nearly impossible to determine which two of Nabokov, Montoya, and DiPietro deserve to start the season in the NHL.
Another problem that the Isles will eventually run into is what to do with the odd man out after the decision is made on which two goalies to keep on the NHL roster. This is a good problem to have for the Islanders. Rick DiPietro is finally fully healthy. Having this competition throughout training camp and the preseason will make all three goalies better. With only two preseason games left, 120 minutes of hockey isn’t nearly enough time to give these three the opportunity to separate themselves from the others. I don’t think Capuano has a choice but to give all three goalies a shot during the beginning of the regular season, and then maybe make a choice after 10 or 15 games on who the two goalies will be.
It will be interesting to see what direction Capuano and the Isles decide to go in. The Isles can’t go to far into the regular season with three goalies for a number of reasons, but the main reason being that having only two goalies on the roster leaves open another forward or defense spot for added depth. Barring any injuries, I think the two goalies who will be with the Isles long-term are Nabokov and DiPietro. Nabby looked good against Calgary. He stopped 15 of 16 shots and had some trouble playing the puck, but overall looked very steady. Each of the three has had one start so far this preseason. The Isles play the Devils in Newark tonight and then the Boston Bruins in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Saturday. I fully expect that Nabokov, Montoya, and DiPietro will get equal time over the final two preseason games and will be competing at an extremely high level.
In other news, the five players who were placed on waivers-Tomas Marcinko, Dylan Reese, Ty Wishart, Trevor Frischmon, and Tim Wallace-all cleared and will be sent back to training camp. As expected, Steve Staios signed a one-year contract with the Isles earlier today. Staios has looked good in the preseason and will provide some veteran stability on the blueline.
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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.