Despite what could have been a tumultuous week for the New York Islanders after firing head coach Jack Capuano, the NHL named Isles’ starting goaltender Thomas Greiss the second star of the week ending January 22.
Greiss blanked the Boston Bruins 4-0 in Capuano’s last game behind the bench. Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien is thought of as being on the hot-seat in Boston. In Doug Weight’s first game as Interim Head Coach, Greiss pitched another shutout, this time against the struggling Dallas Stars. Jean-Francois Berube picked up the win Saturday evening against the Los Angeles Kings as Greiss returned to crease patrol Sunday. There, after blowing a 2-0 lead against the Flyers, Greiss helped the Isles pick up a point in the 3-2 overtime loss, despite making 44 saves.
Thomas Greiss went 2-0-1 for the week, posting a 0.98 goals against average and .971 save percentage, both well above his season’s average stats of 2.32 GAA and .928 save percentage. Greiss is now fifth in the NHL in save percentage and tied with Penguins’ goalie Matt Murray for eleventh in the league in GAA. Greiss’ two shutouts last week, 154:10 of goalless time on ice total, we’re good enough to tie his personal best in regular season shutouts. The 30-year old netminder is now a solid 12-7-3 on the season.
The Islanders will be relying on Greiss, as well as J-F Berube, to help the squad stay relevant in the playoff picture. While the Isles have been plagued with bottom of the barrel standings as of late, they are still not out of contention. Going into Monday evening, the Isles have three games in hand and only five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the last wild card spot.
After letting Capuano go, and Jaroslav Halak being waived and assigned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Greiss we need to be the solid, stable rock that the team so desperately needs in order to finish out the season strong. While the German-native has yet to prove he can be a viable starter for a full 82-game season, his play as of late, thus far this season, and in his recent past has basically affirmed the organization’s reasonable reliance on Greiss to be a serviceable starting netminder.
I have no doubt Greiss will do his part in standing tall in the blue paint. But now it’s up to the rest of the squad to continue to do their part and find ways to steal some points as we head into the All Star break this weekend.
Finally, time will tell what General Manager Garth Snow has in mind for the franchise, and soon as the trade deadline is just over a month away. Until then, hopefully Greiss keeps up the good work.
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