On paper, the Isles going with Thomas Greiss tonight against Tampa Bay seems like a straightforward decision.
Greiss was great in his last game — making 33 saves in a 5-1 win over the Leafs — and has been steady all season long, posting a 2.28 GAA and .925 save percentage.
But nothing is ever truly straightforward in Brooklyn.
Especially when it comes to goalies.
Over the weekend, Allan Walsh — the agent for Jaroslav Halak — took to Twitter to object to the Isles’ three-goalie setup, and what it’s doing to his client. According to Walsh, the practice time split between Halak, Greiss and J-F Berube has resulted in sub-optimal game prep. Walsh also noted this is the second straight year the Isles have rolled with a three-headed goalie monster.
Not long after those remarks, Sportsnet reported the Isles were open to trading Halak.
What’s transpired since is something of a mixed bag. Initial reports suggested the Isles didn’t receive any offers for Halak but, on Tuesday, TVA reported there are some teams interested in a potential acquisition.
It’s easy to see why Halak’s displeased with his current situation. Coming off a terrific effort for Team Europe at the World Cup — a tournament in which he beat out Greiss for the No. 1 gig — there was some thought he’d distanced himself as the Isles’ starter, too.
But it’s been the same old timeshare this season. After tonight’s start, Greiss and Halak will have split ’em equally, with five each.
For the Bolts, Ben Bishop is in goal.
— Good matchup at MSG, as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers host Jake Allen and the Blues.
— No surprises from the Blue Jackets, who will continue to ride Sergei Bobrovsky. The visiting Stars look as though they’ll go with Antti Niemi.
— After he and James Reimer split a weekend back-to-back, Roberto Luongo is in goal for the Panthers. He’ll likely be facing off against Tuukka Rask, who appears primed to start for the visiting Bruins.
— Following an emotional shutout against Edmonton, posted just days after announcing his wife’s cancer diagnosis, Craig Anderson is back in goal for the Sens. Carolina is going with Cam Ward.
— The red-hot Cam Talbot starts again for Edmonton, while Frederik Andersen is likely for the Leafs. The bigger matchup here, of course, is Auston Matthews vs. Connor McDavid.
— Connor Hellebuyck gets the nod for Winnipeg after coming on to replace Michael Hutchinson in Sunday’s loss to the Sabres. No word yet on a Capitals starter.
— Robin Lehner was great in his first game back from illness (37 saves in a win over the Jets), so he’ll go right back in against the Wild. Minnesota counters with Devan Dubnyk.
— Brian Elliott has been great lately, going 3-1-0 with a 1.73 GAA and .941 save percentage in his last four games. That gets him the call against Chicago, who will go with Corey Crawford in goal.
— Seymon Varlamov for Colorado tonight, as the Avs host the Preds. No word yet on a Nashville starter.
— It’s Martin Jones versus Louis Domingue as the Sharks travel to Arizona to take on the Coyotes.
— Expect John Gibson to make another start for the Ducks, as they host the Kings. No word yet on a L.A. starter, though the Kings have been riding Peter Budaj as of late.