leather clutch Belief in backup Edmonton Oilers goalie Montoya mounting
It very rarely a high fiving, fist pumping moment when a team backup goalie gets the call.
On the contrary, when a reliever goes in, it almost always because something bad is happening.
The starter got hurt. The starter is having a bad night. The team is losing and needs a wakeup call. It the second game of back to backs and the odds of winning aren good no matter who starts.
There simply aren a lot of good news scenarios when a backup hops over the boards.
But it helps, a lot, that it isn a total catastrophe when he is called to action.
That where Al Montoya comes in. He been a pleasant surprise since coming to Edmonton from Montreal on Jan. 4, turning in three very strong relief efforts in the Oilers last eight games.
definitely have a lot of confidence in Monty, said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. been great for us when he needed to be, stepped into a few situations where it wasn ideal and played great. good, because with Cam Talbot ill and doubtful for Thursday game against the Colorado Avalanche, the first game of the Oilers stretch drive might be resting on Montoya shoulders.
been a good fit for our team, said head coach Todd McLellan. a backup role, he been tremendous. He fits the team personality. He a lively guy on the bench. He practises hard.
he gone in, and it hasn always been in comfortable circumstances, he played well. Therefore his teammates have confidence in him.
we circle his number against Colorado, everybody will be fine with that and will believe he can give us a good game. given them three very good appearances so far, allowing just two goals over 117 minutes for a 1.00 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.
He shut out Arizona over the final 56:43,
after Talbot gave up two goals in the first 3:17, allowing Edmonton to come back and post a 4 2 victory.
The team likes what it seen so far and has confidence that the new guy can win for them if called on.
games he come in, he played well for us, said Milan Lucic. in that Arizona game, he shut the door after a tough start by the whole team. He a veteran guy who been in the league a long time so there is definitely confidence if he has to step up and get us a win here or there. is also an easy going and funny guy in the room, which makes him a popular teammate. He the type of goalie a team can get behind and will want to play well for (although motivation shouldn be an issue as the Oilers begin what they hope is a miraculous push for the playoffs).
keeps things loose and has a great sense of humour, said Lucic. nice having a guy around like that. It keeps things light in the room. Montoya, just being able to play, and play well, feels like a blessing after missing almost two full months while dealing with post concussion issues. He definitely in a happy place right now; the permanent smile on his face is genuine.
just enjoying what you done your whole life, said the 32 year old from Chicago. had a long injury, which is tough, they never easy. is moving to a new team, but he appears to be handling both situations pretty well.
come in and you want to get in the net as soon as possible, he said. just ready for the next game and looking forward for the opportunity to play hockey. For me, it just having fun and being ready to play.
what I gotten back to. For me,
it just the enjoyment of playing hockey again. I been doing this my whole life.