Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.
Al Montoya starting in goal tonight for Isles opener
And that's a bit of a shock, to say the least. Rick DiPietro, who was presumed in most corners to be tonight's season opener starter, will dress as the backup, with Evgeni Nabokov scratched.
"We're going with a gut feeling," Jack Capuano said. The coach has maintained all through training camp that all spots were open for competition, and he's backing that statement up in a big way by naming Montoya, who had a very good camp but still seemed to be starting from further back on the depth chart.
As for DiPietro and how he took the news, Capuano said: "Ricky's fine. Listen -- he's the ultimate team guy. He's very supportive and for tonight, he wants Al to succeed. Ricky's a true professional.
"We're going to take it day by day, with all positions."
DiPietro had a very good camp as well, and given the decade remaining on his contract, it was thought he would get the nod to grab the starter's spot from the outset.
D Andrew MacDonald will play tonight, with Milan Jurcina scratched. Rookie Ryan Strome is the healthy scratch among the forwards. Nino Niederreiter (groin) and Trevor Gillies (groin) are still out.
If there's a message to be sent with Montoya's start, Capuano reinforced it by saying:
"The guys that play the way we need them to play will play. The guys that want to play an individualistic style won't. The guys that aren't dressed, whether it's Nabby (Nabokov) or Jurcina or even Nino or Trevor, I would hope they're not happy."