Islanders Gameday: My name is Al Montoya. Prepare to sigh.

Mikko Koskinen and recent Jackalope Joel Martin are the ones in the funny pads for tonight's game in Montreal. But despite tryouts for extra goalies and exorcists, as Dougtone FanShot'd last night, ex-Ranger property Al Montoya is now in the organizational fold, with a 6th-round pick in June heading to Phoenix.

The good news: Yet another former 1st-round draft pick joins the organization!

The bad news: It was a Glen Sather pick. (Speaking of which, the Only 2003 First Rounder To Never See The NHL was also traded last night. Great night for trips down Rangers draft memory lane.)

The move is a no-brainer under duress, but the peripherals are a reflection of the fix the Islanders are in: Two goalies on IR, a third in Nathan Lawson not yet ready to return, while the Islanders and their AHL affiliate have a combined six games over the next four days. Montoya -- the backup in AHL San Antonio -- was available because teams aren't in the business of selling their top AHL goalies for peanuts.

A look at Montoya's NHL numbers in limited action would make a nice career line for the 2004 6th overall pick:

5 GP, 3-1-0, 2.08, .925

A look at his AHL numbers this year would make a nice argument for why he's seeing less time than Matt Climie (32 GP, 2.37, .927):

Montoya (San Antonio): 21 GP, 3.19, .891

...Not that Mikko can brag:

Koskinen (Bridgeport): 20 GP, 3.64, .882

(Note: To be fair, third-place in the West San Antonio has a much better team, 20 points above Bridgeport in the standings.)

Montoya will turn 26 next week; Koskinen is 22. Assuming Montoya gets NHL action -- though why assume anything at this point -- it's a nice opportunity for him, the kind that Evgeni Nabokov is too special to accept.

 

Tonight's Game: Series Finale

Nyi-y_medium                 Mon-upc_medium
Islanders (17-29-7, 15th/E) @ Canadiens (30-20-5, 6th/E)
[brewery or telco or something] Centere
7:30 p.m. | MSG+ | audio - WRHU 88.7
Habs galore: Habs Eyes on the Prize

The Canadiens are coming off a crazy beatdown in Boston last night, in which they lost the game 8-6 but also got mired in a wild series of fights, including a goalie fight in which nobody moved, nobody got hurt. (I confess, after seeing how casually and "at play" Tim Thomas and Carey Price treated that fight, I feel more sympathy for Rick DiPietro getting the bad end of Brent Johnson's fist. Of course, as mentioned in our Isles goalie fights roundup last week, Montoya was once on the wrong end of DiPietro's fists...)

The stupidity all started when Boston's Brad Marchand ran ol' Isle James Wisniewski on an icing call.

Anyway, Montreal is playing at home on a back-to-back after an emotional beatdown last night. You could expect a drained group poised for a letdown, or a feisty group, rallied by their home fans and determined to get the two points they coughed up last night. But for the feisty, Mike Cammalleri -- who was so viciously terrorized by Nino Niederreiter in preseason -- is still out with a separated shoulder.

Continuing a Meme I Enjoy: Jesse Joensuu is up on emergency because Jeremy Colliton (rib) is out; Evgeni Nabokov (tool) is a scratch.

The Habs lead the season series 2-1, but the Isles took the last meeting -- one of this season's many blizzards -- in December 4-1. For me, I'm just looking for Koskinen to rebound after his rough NHL debut. He belongs in the AHL for development's sake, but the kid isn't here by lacking talent. Go get 'em, big Finn.

 

Housekeeping

Well, this dates from before the latest goalie injury implosions, but for posterity's sake here was Garth Snow's latest chat with Chris King on the Islanders official site:


New FIG Rules (Or: A test of your reading comprehension)

Okay, our First Islanders Goal (FIG) pool, from the mind of JPinVA, has become a bigger success than we ever imagined. It's great that so many are participating -- and winning gym socks! -- but it's starting to get confusing. So we're going to make some tweaks to the rules as we go, starting with today:

  • New format: Use FIG: Goalscorer (assist 1, assist 2) time [e.g. Nielsen (Grabner, Wishart) 15:51] NOTE: The assist(s) -- you can leave 1 or 2 -- and the time are only used as tiebreakers!
  • Use the last name of the player (no nicknames, at least not in the subject line). This makes it easier to search/CTRL-F for the right name and/or winners. Feel free to nickname it up in the body of your comment though.
  • Continue to leave your FIG pick as a reply under the first FIG picks you see, BUT...
  • Look for who has already picked your guy -- and leave your pick in reply to that one. (So if you have MacDonald but you see someone selected MacDonald @ 15:47, you reply to that comment with your own MacDonald pick)

I'm not putting rules on time or "Price Is Right"-ing your fellow commenters at this time. For one thing, we're bound to have similar times and really, it's luck of the draw if you get the right one anyway. For another, Price Is Right-ing always gives me a good chuckle.

We'll see how this goes for now. Happy FIG-ing, and check this post later (or the Twitter feed of @KatieStrangNYI and @NYIslanders) for any pertinent updates for tonight's game. We also should have another comedy post up around mid-day.

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