Goalie nods: With Halak hurt, Greiss likely to start for Isles


From the “they say it’s not a goalie controversy, but sure could be one” file — after coming on in relief of the injured Jaroslav Halak in last night’s win over Pittsburgh, all signs point to Thomas Greiss getting the nod for the Isles tonight against the Leafs.

Greiss, arguably the NHL’s top backup netminder this year, has posted terrific numbers — 18-6-3, 2.20 GAA, .930 save percentage — which has led to whispers that maybe, just maybe, he could be the Isles’ best netminder.

Not Halak.

While Halak has solid numbers himself this year (18-13-1, .919 save percentage, 2.30 GAA), he had a fairly mediocre month of February, going 4-4-0 with a .905 save percentage.

Greiss, meanwhile, went 3-1-1 with a .945.

As we’ve said repeatedly in this column, Greiss was a fantastic signing from GM Garth Snow and has provided incredible value, given he’s on a two-year, $3 million deal with a $1.5M average annual cap hit.

Looking ahead, one has to wonder if Greiss will shift from being one of the best value backups in the NHL, to one of the best value starters.

For Toronto, Garret Sparks is in goal.


— It’s Chicago versus St. Louis on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), which means Corey Crawford will take on Jake Allen in goal.

Joni Ortio goes for the Flames, who are hosting Nashville. The Preds didn’t skate this morning, and Pekka Rinne won last night in Winnipeg, meaning this could be a Carter Hutton start.

— After stopping 37 shots in a win over Arizona on Monday, Semyon Varlamov gets the start for Colorado. Looks like the Ducks will go with John Gibson.

Jacob Markstrom versus Louis Domingue as the Canucks host the Coyotes in Arizona.

— Marquee matchup in Los Angeles tonight as Braden Holtby and the Caps take on Jonathan Quick and the Kings.