Sunday, September 9, 2007

Rangers Have Goaltending Options

We're still a few days removed from training camp, but already the Rangers' goal tending situation seems to be a good one. When camp opens on Friday, the Rangers will have five net minders under NHL contracts. Of course Lundqvist will be number one and, barring injury, will be between the pipes for a good 60-70 games. This begs the question of who should be the backup? Stephen Valiquette did a decent job for the Rangers down the stretch last season with the injury to Kevin Weekes. In 30 games with the Wolfpack, Valiquette was 17-12 with a 2.34 GAA and 0.909 save percentage. With the Rangers, he recorded one win and two losses in three games played, 3.16 GAA and 0.867 save percentage. The Rangers also have rookie Al Montoya, who posted a respectable 27-17 record in 48 games last season with a 2.25 GAA and 0.916 save percentage with the Wolfpack. The two remaining contracts belong to recently signed Miikka Wiikman and the under performing Chris Holt. With Lundqvist a lock for all but say 15 games this season, who would you rather see in the backup role, Valiquette or Montoya? Should Montoya back up to get NHL experience, even if it is only two or three games a month? Or should he start the season in the AHL to keep loose? Comments are strongly welcomed.

1 comment:

The Dark Ranger said...

Valiquette didn't look confident in net - I cannot imagine that level of pressure play on the guy, but you cannot ignore Montoya. Al Montoya may be THAT next guy in net. Just as Slats and Renney gave Callahan and Girardi shots as rookies, they should consider moving him up on the front-end of the season.

tdr

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