Islanders team of the decade: Best players by position
Goalie: Thomas Greiss
2010-2019 Islanders Stats: 96-55-13, 2.64GAA, 0.917SV%, 10 SO
He was brought in to be the backup. He’d turn into something much more than just another goalie.
In 2015, Thomas Greiss signed with the Islanders as a free agent. At that point, he hadn’t played more than 25 games in a single season. His numbers were pretty good. He hit a 0.920SV% in 25 games with the Coyotes two years before coming to the Island. Next to Halak, he could be a capable backup.
In his first year with the Islanders in 2015-16, Halak missed significant time with an injury. Thomas Greiss played 41 games and averaged a 0.925SV% and 2.36GAA and helped the Islanders make the playoffs.
Once in the playoffs, Greiss would push the Islanders to the second round for the first time in 23 years.
The next year, Jaroslav Halak would throw a temper-tantrum after two years of Garth Snow holding three goalies on the active roster. That temper-tantrum would tank Halak’s season so much that he’d be sent to the AHL in the New Year. Leaving Greiss effectively alone in nets. Sure, they had Jean-Francois Bérubé on the roster, but Bérubé proved to be so ineffective that Greiss was constantly rolled out in a Doug Weight system.
Greiss would end the year playing in 51 games with 49 starts, a 0.913SV% and 2.69GAA. The Islanders missed the playoffs by a single point.
Two years later, Greiss, along with fellow goalie Robin Lehner, would put up a Jennings Trophy season. Greiss would average a 0.927SV% and 2.28GAA in 43 games played and 39 starts.
Again, Greiss was brought in to be the backup. But he had to carry the Islanders for a few seasons and did. In his 178 games played for the Islanders, he has 96 wins, the most by any goaltender to suit up for the Islanders this decade.
Honorable Mention: Jaroslav Halak, Robin Lehner
Halak was a good goalie for the Islanders. He even got an All-Star nod in 2015-16.
Robin Lehner was a revelation when he joined the Islanders. No one knew what to expect from Lehner. Not only was he fantastic between the pipes with a 0.930SV% and 2.13GAA, but he was just as impactful off the ice.
His well documented and honest account of his battles with mental illness made him a fan favorite from day one. His attachment to the fans and the fan’s attachment to him grew exponentially by the day.