Got Montoya?



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 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?

Probably not.

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….

  • MattyFranchise

    “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.” …WHAT?!?!? Come on man, “there has to be a reason” is the best you can do? No speculation even?? Lame. I can give you 3 reasons for Montoya playing for 3 NHL franchises. When he was drafted by New York in 2004 they didn’t expect Lundqvist to be an NHLer and they moved Montoya only after Lundqvist was already firmly established as their #1. In Phoenix he was buried under Bryzgalov so he was never going to get a chance there. With the Isles, he played quite a bit and his numbers are okay but they have lots of prospects of their own who are younger and need playing time plus they have Nabokov (who has years of experience as an NHL #1) and they have to use DiPietro (or bury him in the minors) so they didn’t have space there and he moved on to Winnipeg. This is his best opportunity yet, I’m definitely not sold on Pavelec yet, although I’m not convinced Montoya will be any good either. The way I see it, Montoya has never really been given a chance to be a #1. The Rangers had Lundqvist, the Coyotes had Bryzgalov and the Islanders have a strange goaltending situation (thanks in large part to DiPietro) so I wouldn’t just assume that something is wrong with Montoya because those teams didn’t want him. Besides, he might still improve, Dubnyk and Schneider still need to improve their consistency if they’re going to be quality starters in the NHL. If they don’t then I think they will end up being backups just like Montoya currently is. Of course, I don’t know anything about Montoya so maybe he does have the warning flags that you speak of from past injury issues or personality issues on other teams. Do you have any reason to believe that Montoya may have warning flags other than the fact that he has been with a few franchises?