Thomas Greiss has stepped up as the number one goalie for the New York Islanders after veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak was put on waivers on December 30th. Since, Greiss has posted a 2.09 GAA and a .936 save percentage in nine starts.
The Stars Align
Greiss has been named the NHL’s second star of the week, right between Capital’s TJ Oshie and Penguins Conor Sheary. Last week he went 2-0-1 with a 0.98 GAA and a stellar .971 save percentage and lead the Islanders to seven points in four games.
Greiss started the week with back-to-back shutouts against the Boston Bruins on Monday then the Dallas Stars on Thursday. He made 32 saves for a 4-0 victory over Boston and 23 in a 3-0 win over Dallas.
The 30-year old German followed up those stellar performances with 44 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Worth an Extension
It’s no secret that the Islanders have put their trust in Thomas Greiss, and rightfully so.
There was plenty of debate last season surrounding the Islanders goaltending situation. Especially during the playoffs when Halak went down with an injury, and Greiss propelled the Islanders to the second round. Much of the skepticism surrounding Griess is that he has been a career back-up. Yet, when called upon, he performs despite his ‘lack of experience.’
The Islanders have all of their top forwards and defenseman locked up for next season. Greiss is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. If he keeps up this hot-streak, there should be no reason that the Islanders wouldn’t re-sign the netminder.
Home Sweet Home
Greiss and the Islanders embark on a six-game home stand that will span over the All-Star break. Their next game is Tuesday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Islanders currently sit five points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Griess could be the spark a weary Islanders squad needs to make a second half push for the playoffs.