A week late, Jaroslav Halak's 2016 can now begin.
The New York Islanders' technically number one goalie (by a hair...he has more minutes but the same number of appearances and two fewer wins to his record than Thomas Greiss) has been activated off of injured reserve by the club.
Greiss started the last five consecutive games, including a traveling back-to-back over the weekend. He has performed outstandingly this season and with Halak has been a big part of their deceptive success, outside of the nine goals he gave up in the 91 minutes of work across those two games, a loss to the Penguins and a win over the Stars.
Coming off of the Christmas break, Halak was placed on IR on Dec. 27 but retroactive to Dec. 21. Per the ritual of our times, nothing other than "upper body" was publicly acknowledged about his injury. So we'll just say it was above the waist but below the halo.
Anyway, he's back in uniform in time for the Isles to face the Metropolitan Division and NHL-leading Washington Capitals Thursday, in the first rematch of last year's first-round playoff series.
Gibson Returned to Bridgeport
Christopher Gibson, who appeared in relief of Greiss for his NHL debut against Pittsburgh, was returned to the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers. It was mop-up duty in a blowout, but he still got almost 30 minutes in while stopping 16 of 17 shots against some of the league's best shooters.
Acquired in the Variety Pack-for-Michael Grabner trade, Gibson has been one of the top goalies in the AHL this season (1.99 GAA, .928 save percentage), nicely building off his successful 2014-15. This was likely not his last cup of coffee in the NHL, and there may be a full pot in his future.