It's clear that the Rangers are having problems with their defense. After four or more goals in the past four games, King looks tired ( wrist & flu). Most goalies in the NHL strive to be the #1 keeper,while others are content to be the # 2. Those that are happy playing the backup role need to be real artists. They need to stay sharp,play locker room good guy,and step up when they are called on. Stepping up is the hardest part of the deal,challenging the netminder to fill in as the #1 and keeping the ship above water. It's comfortable for a goalie to jump into a road start knowing they have a Luongo or Lundqvist sitting on the bench. But when those security systems are not there,the latter needs to play the part.
Playing the part is something Montoya has done well. He's won a Junior championship with team USA after filling in for their everyday starter. Al has played on the big stages in college and put together two winning seasons in Hartford. He worked hard to get healthy in the offseason and came to camp in great shape. His preseason starts looked great and his fire and emotion are exactlly what the parent club needs. He mixed it up with the 15 year kid ( Rick DP) ,and held his own in the fight and in the action.
When teams usually stray from their system,they start another goalie so that the team tightens up in front. As the Penns walk into the Garden on Tuesday night,it's time to grab the wrench. The Rangers need to Call up Montoya and give him his first start. Glen Sather and the coaching staff drafted the Chicago native for his BIG Game ability,and this could be the biggest game so far. It's time to stop the bleeding and restore normality at the garden. Starting Montoya would add an extra buzz to a Rangers club that sorely misses Sean Avery. If he walks in and beats Sidney and company it may just give the team an extra jump. If he falters then he can measure his skills and work harder in Hartford. When a foward or d man plays well in the minors,hes brought up as a reward. The Parent club wants to show him that they are close to the big show and making progress. Goalies could become stagnant too, and #29 should be being sewn by the equipment managers right now.
While the Penguins are missing their # 29 in their lineup,the Rangers should be checking their watches.. ...It's time for MONTOYA.