New York Islanders Goaltenders Must Step It Up
By Billy Lewis
The New York Islanders are off to a good start. Through 16 games they are 8-6-2 and sit at fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. If the goalies start to play better, the Islanders can become a force to be reckoned with.
The New York Islanders offense has been on fire to start the year. They headed into Friday’s game scoring 3.6 goals per game, which is good for 3rd in the NHL. Even their power play, which struggled mightily to begin the season, is a top 10 unit.
Before the season began I felt that the Isles’ goaltending would be a strength of the team. Unfortunately, through 16 games the goaltending has not been strong. They are giving up 3.1 goals per game, which sits them at 21st.
They have split the starts fairly even between the two goalies. Jaroslav Halak has started 9 games, and Thomas Greiss has started 7. Greiss has played the previous two games against the Avalanche and Oilers.
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The Isles beat the Avs 6-4, but the game wasn’t that close as the Avalanche scored two goals in the final 30 seconds to make a 6-2 game a 6-4 final. The Islanders most recent game was a 2-1 overtime loss to the Oilers.
Looking at Last 5 games.
Greiss is 3-1-1 in his last five starts, including a stellar 40 save performance in San Jose. Greiss’ game in San Jose has been the only game so far a goaltender has stolen for the Islanders. The Islanders won that game 3-1.
Halak’s last five games, before last night, were better as he had 4-1-0. The issue is his loss came against the Washington Capitals. The Islanders outplayed the Capitals but Halak was never able to make a save when needed, and the Isles didn’t manage to gain a point.
Unfortunately, Halak and the Islanders put up a stinker last night in Dallas. After last night Halak’s goals against average went up to 3.05 and his save percentage dipped to .898.
Next: Three Improvements Isles Can Make
The Islanders play the Blues Saturday in the second half of a back to back so it’s safe to assume with Halak playing Friday, Greiss will see the net Saturday in St. Louis. If the Isles are able to get average goaltending the rest of the way, they could be in for a special season.