Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 1
By Matt O'Leary
Looking at the best New York Islanders to wear the number one in their history. Chico Resch gets the nod over Thomas Greiss.
Today we’re starting a new series where we are going to look at the best players to put on the New York Islanders sweater by number. Getting things started at the beginning we have 14 players in team history to wear number one.
Some notables are Rolan Melanson, Roberto Longo, Rick DiPietro (2001-2003), and Thomas Griess. Greisser was probably the closest “honorable mention” on this list to dethroning our champion.
Over five seasons with the Isles, Greiss has played in 193 games with a .915 goals against average and a 2.70 goals against average. His best year came in the 2018-2019 season when he was the 1B with Robin Lehner.
In that season, Greiss had a .927 save percentage and a 2.28 goals against average. He’s also going to be remembered for his heroics during the 2016 playoffs when he and John Tavares put the team on his back and got them out of the first round.
While Greiss isn’t a bad choice, Glenn “Chico” Resch feels like the right answer here. Resch joined the Islanders in 1973-1974 playing in just two games as a 25-year-old. Resch got is real start during the 1975-1976 season where he put up unreal numbers.
Resch led the league in save percentage with a .928 and had the second-best goals against average to go with it (2.08 GAA). He finished second in Calder voting that year and was an All-Star.
Resch would make the All-Star Game in 1979 as well as he posted a respectable .914 goals against average (leading the league again) and a 2.50 goals against average.
By 1979-1980, both Resch and Billy Smith were splitting time in net. Resch played in 45 games while Smith got 38 that year. The Islanders rode Billy Smith to the Stanley Cup Championship and by the following season, Resch was traded away.
In 282 games with the Islanders, Resch was an impressive 157-69-47 with a .911 save percentage and 2.56 goals against average. Billy Smith gets remembered for his heroics but before Billy Smith, Resch was just as solid in net.
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Tune in tomorrow to find out who the best number two in Islanders history is as we continue our count forward.