In today’s goalie nods, we mentioned that Thomas Greiss would inherit starting duties tonight after he replaced Jaroslav Halak late in Tuesday’s win over Pittsburgh.
Well, Greiss’ starting gig will last much longer than tonight.
On Wednesday afternoon, Isles head coach Jack Capuano announced Halak would miss the next six weeks with the lower-body injury suffered against the Pens. It’s a huge blow, to say the least — Halak has been the Isles’ No. 1 netminder for the last two years and has extensive playoff experience, with 30 games on his resume.
And it’s in the playoffs where things might really hurt the Isles.
Make no mistake, Greiss has enjoyed an excellent regular season. But for as good as Greiss has been this year — 18-6-3, 2.20 GAA, .930 save percentage — he has a grand total of 40 minutes of playoff experience, and that came back in 2010 when he was tending goal for the Sharks.
Assuming Halak is out the full six weeks, he wouldn’t be ready to return to the Isles until the end of April.
The last day of the regular season is on Apr. 10.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Isles react to this latest bit of bad news. While the team has played equally well for both goalies this year — Halak and Greiss each have 18 wins — Greiss must now adjust to being a No. 1 netminder, which can be a tall task for a career backup.
It’s expected that Jean-Francois Berube will be recalled from AHL Bridgeport to serve as New York’s new No. 2 in goal.