This is part of New York Islanders Day on PHT…
The New York Islanders were one of the few teams that kept three goalies on their roster last season. Thomas Greiss started the majority of the games because Jaroslav Halak was injured for a good chunk of the regular season.
Once the playoffs rolled around, Greiss became the team’s starting goaltender again, but only because Halak was sidelined with a groin injury.
Greiss ended up giving the Islanders some solid goaltending in their opening round series against the Panthers, as he gave up two goals or less in four of the six games. Things got a little more difficult in the second round when the Isles were eliminated by the Bolts in five games.
Overall, Greiss’ playoffs were a success. The question is, can he carry the load for an entire season?
It’s hard to say which goalie has a leg up in the race to be number one, but it’s clear that one of these two netminders will have to take the job and run with it in order for the Islanders to be a serious contender in the East.
Halak is signed for two more seasons at a cap hit of $4.5 million, while Greiss has one year remaining on his contract at $1.5 million. Don’t forget, the Islanders also have J-F Berube under contract in 2016-17.
As Halak pointed out in May, this is far from an ideal situation.
“It’s not ideal,” Halak said of the Islanders’ goalie situation, per the New York Post. “I’ve tried to tell [management], and this is not up to me.
“I like it here, but they just have to decide which way they want to go for next season. J-F is a young goalie, Greisser played well all season long. So we’ll see.”
As of right now, nothing’s changed in the Islanders’ crease since those comments were made. Halak has to realize that his inability to stay healthy is one of the main reasons why GM Garth Snow feels the need to keep three goalies around.
The Islanders did what they could this off-season, but it’s hard to think that they made their team better. Gone are Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin and in come Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera and P.A. Parenteau.
One of the ways New York can overcome the losses of Okposo and Nielsen in particular is if one of these three goalies can step up steal more games.