In the first of three conversations previewing the upcoming seasons of the tri-state area’s hockey teams, New York Times hockey writers Jeff Z. Klein and Christopher Botta discuss the chances of the Islanders qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2007….
Botta: ... Now for the real brain-teaser, Jeff. Is it possible to predict what will happen with the Islanders this season in goal? They’ll start the season with Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov at the N.H.L. level and three good prospects — Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson and Mikko Koskinen — in Bridgeport.
Klein: Even if DiPietro is healthy, he is just not a good goalie, despite the millions the Isles have heaped upon him. Since getting drafted in 2000 he’s had only one good N.H.L. season (2006-7). Nabokov bombed out at SKA in the K.H.L. last year, does not want to be on the Island, and at 36, has all the earmarks of a player fading into retirement.
The club’s best hope is for Montoya to be No....