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And then there was one: Montoya day-to-day with strained hamstring

Al Montoya

The game-tying goal by Colorado Avalanche’s Jan Hejda flies by New York Islanders goalie Al Montoya during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday Nov. 10, 2011, in Denver. The Avalanche won 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)


The New York Islanders announced this evening that goaltender Al Montoya is day-to-day with a strained hamstring. It was only yesterday when the New York Islanders were playing musical chairs with three goaltenders on their NHL roster. The music has now stopped and only Rick DiPietro found a seat.

Again, two of the Islanders three goaltenders are hurt—and Rick DiPietro is NOT one of the injured. Who says the man isn’t earning his 15-year contract?

Injuries are never good, news of Montoya’s injury comes at a bad time. Evgeni Nabokov left Thursday’s game earlier with a groin injury and is expected to miss around a month. Luckily for the Islanders, they don’t face a back-to-back situation on their schedule until next weekend. Ideally, Montoya will be back in the lineup by the time the Islanders are really looking for a goaltender to share DiPietro’s workload.

Montoya has easily been the best goaltender for the Islanders over the first month and a half of the season. He leads all three goaltenders in goals against average and save percentage for a team that has struggled to find its way into the win column. Hey, at least there won’t be a goaltender controversy over the next few days.

The injuries give DiPietro time to shine as the team’s undisputed goaltender. All things being equal, the organization would much rather have their long-term investment be the dominant goaltender they hoped he would be when they signed him. Who knows how long Nabokov will be with the team and Montoya has been a pleasant surprise. But DiPietro will be with the team for the next decade. It would be nice if he could take over the #1 spot.

He’ll get is opportunity starting tomorrow against the Bruins.