Every morning I have a ritual that my wife loves (sarcasm intended). When I eat my breakfast I crack open my iPad and make sure my fantasy hockey league lineup is set. This usually involves a quick trip to leftwinglock.com to ensure I have the correct goalies started.
I can assure you no one in my league has Al Montoya on their roster.
However, I wasn’t surprised to see that Montoya was listed as the ‘probable’ starter (now confirmed) for tonight’s game versus Philly . Pavelec is the team’s starting netminder, but when both of your goaltenders have save percentages below .900, rolling with the hot-hand is a good idea- especially in a short season.
Al Montoya has only started two games and played in 3 so far this season, so I’m not exactly trying to encite a goaltender controversy. However, despite the limited sample size, his save percentage is better than Pavelec’s. Would it not be valuable to see if the team can go on a mini-run with him while Pavelec attempts to get himself in order? Wouldn’t a hint of competition for the starter’s role be a good thing?
Journeyman- long term answer?
Since being drafted 6th overall in the 2004 NHL draft, 8 spots ahead of current Edmonton starter Devan Dubnyk and 20 spots ahead of sometimes Vancouver starter Cory Schneider, Montoya has become a bit of a hockey nomad. With professional stops in Hartford (AHL), Charlotte (ECHL), San Antonio (AHL), Phoenix (NHL), and Long Island (NHL), he has only managed to play 59 NHL games over 8 professional seasons.
His career NHL numbers are not awful (but not great) with a 2.75 GAA and a .906 SV. In addition, fellow 2004 1st round alums Dubnyk and Schneider have only really established themselves as NHL calibre starters in the last 6-18 months, so could it be possible that Montoya could still develop?
Players who have moved around as much as Montoya come with warning flags. There has be a reason, or reasons, why three organizations before the Jets have allowed Montoya to move on.
He isn’t the long term answer in goal for the Jets.
Despite not being a great candidate to solve the goaltending woes in Winnipeg, it makes sense to at least give him the next game after a shutout. Put some flame to Pavelec’s feet and give the impression that someone else could take his starts.
We’ll see if I’m right or wrong tonight.
*Since today’s article is about goaltending….