New York Islanders: Jaroslav Halak’s Back On Track

By Matt O'Leary
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 21: Jaroslav Halak
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 21: Jaroslav Halak /

Jaroslav Halak has steadily improved his play of late after a lackluster November. He is pulling away as the New York Islanders number one goalie.

The New York Islanders goalie situation isn’t perfect, but it looks like Jaroslav Halak is establishing himself as the clear-cut number one goalie. The Islanders team save percentage is still under .900, .897, thanks to Thomas Greiss but overall Halak is beginning to come around.

Last night, Halak played very well against the Buffalo Sabres. He stopped 35 of 37 shots faced for a .946 save percentage.

Halak has now had back to back great starts. Before the break, Halak stopped 38 of 40 shots against him when Winnipeg came to town.

If you break Halak’s year into three months it doesn’t look as scary. He had a .916 save percentage in October and he’s got a .914 save percentage in December. The Isles can get by with that kind of goalie play.

It’s the November stretches they can’t have. Halak’s save percentage in November was .883. If Jaro gets to his career average of .917 the Isles will be in decent shape. Obviously, those aren’t elite level goalie stats but with the Islanders offense on most nights they can get by with that kind of play in net.

The question becomes what do you do with Thomas Greiss. I feel bad for the guy but he’s just flat out been bad. He has an .883 save percentage and a 3.83 goals against average. That ain’t gonna cut at the NHL level.

We will likely see Halak get ridden hard, similar to his role in 2014-2015 and have Greiss come in on back to back’s and when team’s like Arizona come to town.

It’ll no longer be that 1a and 1b system the Isles have had for the last two years. With the Metro Division so tight you can’t afford to run Greiss out there and hope he figures it out.

Next: Brock Nelson Is Back In Hibernation Mode

I know it’s only been two games, but Halak’s play is extremely promising for the Islanders going forward. Let’s see if he can fare just as well against Winnipeg on the road this time.