Patrick Roy will see in Samuel Montembeault a goaltender he respects for his progress in Thursday night's game against his Islanders at the Bell Center.
Life is funny: A year ago to the day, Roy spoke about Montembeault on TVA Sports.
“For Montembeault to create a space for himself and challenge the number one that was [Jake] “Allen, I think he’s doing really well,” he said during an interview with host Jean-Charles Lajoie on the JiC show. I think he can be proud of himself. That's the challenge before him to force the organization to play him. Montembeault just managed to force the Canadian’s hand.”
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Despite the trio of CH goalkeepers, Montembeault is the one who has had the most starts in front of the Habs net this season. He will be making his 23rd appearance since the start of the season, having been directly involved in almost half of the Canadian's games.
Despite allowing eight goals in his final game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, Montembeault still posted a 10-7-4 record, a 3.11 goals-against average and a .903 efficiency percentage.
More than direct fire…
However, according to Roy's January 25, 2023 comments, the Islanders also risk executing some feints and driving traffic in front of the net to beat Montembeault.
“I have to tell you that Montembeault is impressive,” Roy also said. I found that Montembeault was often beaten on direct shots and it was the small team that I found a little annoying, but I have to admit that direct shots have hardly been coming in for a long time, he controls his rebounds well.”
“He’s a young man making progress,” added the man who is now the Islanders’ head coach. Sometimes there are some who develop later than others, but he deserves a place in the National League [de hockey] And hats off to him.”
From “33” to “35”
The 27-year-old Montembeault himself was asked to comment on Roy's visit at the end of the team's training in Brossard on Wednesday.
“I didn't really have the opportunity to see him play because I was too young, but he remains one of the best goalkeepers and he's from Quebec,” agreed the Canadian goalkeeper. I wore number 33 a lot growing up and then went back to playing for the Florida Panthers.”
Although he knew it was Roy's number, Montembeault admits that Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist were his favorite goalkeepers because of the era in which he grew up. In Montreal, he chose number 35 when Roy's jersey was retired by the organization on November 22, 2008, almost 13 years before Montembeault's arrival.
“This is his third game [comme entraîneur-chef des Islanders] And it's already against us, the CH goalkeeper also mentioned Roy's visit. The anticipation for this game is great. It will be a special evening.”
“For their part, the boys will want to win it for Patrick,” Montembeault noted. I think it’s going to be a really good, intense game.”