What to Expect from Islanders’ Greiss

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On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak would miss a minimum of six weeks. With the unfortunate news, the Isles will turn to Thomas Greiss and J.F. Berube to carry the workload of the remainder of the season, as well as the majority, if not all of the first round of the playoffs.

The debate over who the Islanders’ true number-one goaltender has been an ongoing discussion all season, and now Thomas Greiss takes the reins to show just how valuable he’s been to the team. The German native has made 29 appearances, posting impressive numbers during the campaign; most notably, leading the league in save percentage (.930). In addition to only allowing goals on 7% of shots faced, a handful of Greiss’ wins have come against some of the league’s top teams:

In only one area has Halak been better than Greiss this season: low danger shots. Greiss has a low-danger save percentage (LDSV%) of .971 (Halak .975). Greiss tops the rest of the categories as follows:

  • GAA: 2.20
  • SV%: .930
  • EV SV%: .934
  • LD SV%: .971
  • MD SV: .943
  • HD SV%: .853

Simply put, Greiss has been outstanding this season and is having a career year. While fans and the coaching staff couldn’t be more pleased, there are some worries to keep in mind has he takes over.

At 29 games played, Greiss has already surpassed his career high for games played in a season, with a much higher workload to come. As a professional athlete, there’s no doubt he can handle the playing time. However, there’s a chance regression comes into play down the stretch.

The 30-year-old netminder is a career .918 goalie. At .930, he’s well above his average play. His second best season came during the in 2013-14 at .920. .920 to .930 is a rather significant change. Now this doesn’t mean Greiss will suddenly be terrible by any means. We just may begin to see those numbers drop a bit and return to his career levels.

Play may drop a bit, especially with a sudden increase in playing time. However, the Islanders have put themselves in a good position down the stretch. They essentially just need to weather the storm that is the final 19 games of the regular season. Greiss and Berube should be more than capable of doing so. If and when they reach the playoffs, Greiss’ inexperience may play a role, but it’s a bridge to cross when the time comes.

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