The New York Islanders are searching for a starter for the 2018-19 NHL season. They might already have it with Christopher Gibson.
It’s no secret that the New York Islanders are weak between the pipes. Both Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss as a tandem have put together some of the worst goaltending records in the league. Halak with his 0.908SV% and 3.23 GAA and Greiss with his 0.891SV% and 3.84 GAA.
At the end of the season, Halak’s $4.5 million per year deal comes to an end leaving the Islanders with Thomas Greiss under contract for the next two seasons.
So whats the next step? Rather than toss one of the draftee’s to the lions of the NHL, maybe we toss a guy in who’s shown he can play at the NHL level.
We’ve often heard about Ilya Sorokin and his outstanding record in the KHL. But with that three-year deal with CSKA Moscow, I don’t expect him to make the jump to North America anytime soon, if at all.
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Linus Soderstrom is likely going to make the jump from Sweden to North American next season after signing his entry-level deal with the Islanders last offseason. Don’t get me wrong he’s full of promise. But he’s unproven at the NHL level.
Which is what this all comes down to. Being able to perform at the NHL level. And that’s what Christopher Gibson has been able to do this season.
I know the sample size is small. I know it’s only been three games, but just look at the numbers. In his three starts, he has a 0.957SV% and 1.90GAA. The goals against average alone would have been enough through December and January to keep the Islanders in the playoffs, with their terrible defense.
And that’s just it. Gibson is putting up these numbers with the same defense that both Halak and Greiss had. There hasn’t been a difference in personnel. The same players are out there on the blue line making mistakes.
We still have to see more from Gibson, but so far he’s shown us more than the two prospects in Europe. If I’m planning for the future in nets, Chris Gibson should factor in predominantly.