Many of the issues that the Islanders faced this season run through Jean-Francois Berube and Garth Snow’s insistence to keep him on the roster. It wasn’t his fault really, but his job is to stop pucks and he didn’t do that well.
Sure it’s not Jean-Francois Berube‘s fault that the New York Islanders claimed him off waivers two years ago. And it wasn’t his fault that the team played him a total of 21 times in those two years.
What he can be held accountable for is his level of play. A level of play that saw him stop an average of .889% of shots and have a 3.42 GAA during the 2016-17 season.
Consider that the NHL average save percentage is .913% and the average goals against average is 2.59. Just by that alone, it’s easy to infer that Berube isn’t an NHL caliber goaltender.
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Impact on the Season
But this isn’t about chastising Garth Snow once again. We’re here to give Berube a grade on his play this season. A grade that accurately reflects his impact on the Isles season.
That save percentage and goals against average was from all his appearances for the Isles. That includes those in relief even if he faced two shots and only played five minutes.
According to the NHL CBA that doesn’t count towards a game played. Anything over 30 minutes counts:
"[…] (for the purpose of this definition, a goaltender must have played a minimum of thirty (30) minutes in an NHL Game to register a game played.-NHL CBA Article 10.1 (c)(i)"
That actually means his save percentage is .895 and a goals against average of 3.00. Not too far off from his actual stats but still well below the NHL standard.
With two wins to his name after Jaroslav Halak was sent down to Bridgeport at the end of December, Berube’s playing time grew more and more scarce. Between February 19th and March 13th, he didn’t make a single start.
Rather coming in relief of the overworked Greiss on three occasions. Once during that 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the Blue Jackets where he allowed four goals on 28 shots.
In that period Greiss started the entire nine-game road trip, which included a back-to-back against Dallas and the Blackhawks, two games that were it not for Greiss the Isles would have lost.
The combination of Garth’s ego and Berube’s lackluster play put the Isles in an awful predicament, one that, were it not for Greiss, would not have seen the Isles get as close to the playoffs as they did.
Final Grade: D-