With so few games left in the regular season and the New York Islanders in a dogfight for the last playoff spot, it’s time they recall Halak. Making or missing the playoffs could come down to one point in the standings. The Islanders have no margin for error.
To be fair to the current New York Islanders back-up goalie, J.F. Berube, the last two seasons he has not received a fair shake when it’s come to playing time. With Berube having to clear waivers to be sent down to the AHL, the Islanders were in a tough spot if they wanted to keep him.
Now with just a little over dozen games left in the season and every point in the standings worth its weight in gold, Jaroslav Halak must take over as the backup goaltender.
Halak has taken being sent down to the AHL well after clearing waivers. In 24 games, Halak has a record of 16-5-1 with 2.17 goals against average and .926 save percentage. At this point and time, he is a big upgrade over Berube and must replace him.
New York Islanders
Greiss Still #1
Make no mistake, Thomas Greiss is still the number one goaltender on the Isles roster the rest of this season and moving forward. Greiss has played well again this year, with a record of 23-14-4 with 2.66 goals against average and .914 save percentage. Keep in mind Greiss’ stats is a bit skewed due to some recent lopsided losses.
It makes sense why the Islanders have been reluctant to recall Halak. When the Islanders sent down Halak and signed Greiss to a 3-year extension, it was clear who was the blue and orange number one net minder.
Having Halak around not playing all that much and having the organization to answer daily questions about the goaltending, one can understand why the Islanders have gone with Greiss and Berube.
But with so few games left and zero margins for error, Halak must be recalled immediately. The Islanders still have three sets of back to back nights left on the schedule and they also need to keep Greiss relatively fresh.
After this season, one way or another Halak will move on this summer. If anything, Halak could improve his trade value this offseason by having a moment or two down the stretch.
The time must be now for the Islanders to recall Halak.