Your New York Islanders have had an up and down season so far. They are 12-8-4 after 28gp, good enough for 6th in the east and 4th in the metropolitan division. Consistency continues to elude them and their PP was a woeful 1 for 25 in their 8 games prior to their 3-2 comeback win against Tampa Bay on Saturday night. The Isles surrendered a 2-0 lead to the Lightning, before Josh Bailey PPG, Cal Clutterbuck and John Tavares PPG would secure the 3 unanswered goal comeback to seal the win. The return of Thomas Hickey was also a huge factor. The continued strong play of Calvin de Haan, Fran Nielsen, Brock Nelson and a re surging Ryan Strome should keep the Isles trending in a positive way and help them improve on their 2-0-1 record in their last 3 games (6-6-1 in November).
In my opinion, the main reason for the come behind win was the steady play Islanders backup goaltender and first star of the game, Thomas Greiss. Greiss improved to 6-3-2 on the season and quietly made several key saves, including a pivotal penalty shot save midway through the second period on Lightning captain, Steven Stamkos to secure the win. "Definitely I got a couple of bounces here and there, sometimes the puck just hits you," Greiss said. "Penalty shots have been around for a long time with the shootouts, you're used to it by now, (so you) just do your thing and try to play your game."
Greiss has an impressive .927Sv% (ranked 8th in the NHL) and 2.24gaa (ranked 14th in the NHL) in relief of a only recently struggling Jaroslav Halak (3-3-1 in November) and has helped his team stay in the hunt for playoff position at the quarter-mark of the NHL season. He has had a couple of shaky games, including a 4-2 loss to Montreal last Sunday, but has been able to recover quickly when called upon.
As the Isles number 2 goaltender, Greiss is slowly proving himself to team management and the coaching staff. He has quietly gotten 40% of the team’s starts in net, despite an NHL career that has never seen more than 25 appearances in an NHL season. His strong positional play and strategic thinking in the net has made an impression to more than just his team mates.
Islanders super fan and countrymen of Griess, Michael Alexy.
Isles prospect, Anthony Beauvillier is turning a few heads.
Happy Birthday to Isles hall of fame color analysist, Jiggs McDonald.