The New York Islanders are in the middle of a franchise long nine game road trip. Through the first five games of the trip the Islanders sit at 3-1-1. The two most recent games saw the Isles pick up three out of a possible four points against the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks.
Those two games were on back to back nights, and that usually means you’ll see two different goalies. Currently the Islanders starting goalie is Thomas Greiss and the backup is J.F Berube. Berube has struggled this year and thus Greiss started both games in the back to back.
The Islanders are in a dog fight for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Currently they hold the second wild card spot, but if they want to hold that spot they will need two goalies they can trust. Not playing Berube in either game shows a lack of faith, and it’s hard to blame the coaching staff. When given the chance Berube simply has not performed well as he holds a .894 SV% & a 3.38 GAA.
The solution to the Isles problem appears to be a simple one: bring back Jaroslav Halak. Halak was sent down earlier this season, but cleared waivers and has been playing for the Islanders AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Halak has handled his demotion like a professional and has played well in Bridgeport. Currently Halak sports a .933 SV% & 1.91 GAA in Bridgeport.
Halak has earned his way back up to the big club. The Islanders are going to need to have two goalies playing well in order to make the playoffs. The Islanders should swap Halak and Berube. If handled correctly a Greiss and Halak platoon could help the Islanders greatly down the stretch. Both goalies have proven to be capable starting goalies, and they have each helped the Isles make the playoffs in the past.
Greiss has played well the last two years and deserves to be the Islanders goalie. Having Halak as a backup will be greatly beneficial down the stretch. The Isles are in dangerous territory if they keep having to run Greiss out. You want to make sure he still has something left in the tank come playoff time. The best course of action for the Islanders this season would be to use Greiss and Halak as a 1a and 1b goalie tandem the rest of the way.