It’s been a rough month for the Islanders.
Out of seven games played this month, they’ve only won three and two of those games had just a one-goal margin of victory. The month as a whole has been tough, but Monday’s game against the Hurricanes shows that there is a specific problem. With that being said, there is a solution: The Islanders have to bring back Jaroslav Halák.
Currently sitting in Connecticut saving more than 92% of the shots that he faces while Thomas Greiss and Jean-François Bérubé gave up eight goals on 33 shots on Monday night, Halak has been untouchable as of late.
Any Islanders fan would know as well as I do that Halák has his problems. I remember moaning about the fact that we didn’t have a good replacement for him a couple years ago and when Greiss joined the team I was ecstatic. It looked like finally, someone could take over for Halák when he was having an off day; There were plenty of those, but maybe with a replacement, there would be less, or so the thinking was.
Halák was seriously overworked before Greiss joined the team and his brick wall was starting to show cracks. Even with those cracks, though, it seemed to me that his mistakes came not from a lack of ability, but more from not being able to take periodic rests like most goaltenders around the league.
The Islanders are in a dangerous position right now. The pressure is on if they even want to have a slim chance at the Cup this season and they cannot afford to lose games like they did on Monday.
After a strong start by their offense and a close first period, the momentum tipped wildly in the Hurricanes favor. It seems clear that someone on the Islanders defense just can’t handle that sort of pressure and, based on the numbers, that weak link is Bérubé.
Greiss was able to post a solid save percentage Tuesday, but he’s likely to get just as overworked as Halák. When that happens, I don’t trust Bérubé to take his spot in the crease, that’s for sure.
So, this is the plan I’d like to see happen: get Halák back from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and let Greiss cover for him when he needs it. Then we do anything else with Bérubé. Not only will it help out the team, but I can finally start talking about the Halák Net Monster again.
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