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Crawling to the finish line: Berube hurt, Gibson on emergency recall

No pressure. Just play for your lives.

What are you doing out here?
What are you doing out here?
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Islanders have recalled goalie Christopher Gibson on an emergency loan from Bridgeport to fill in for Jean-Francois Berube, who was hurt in Saturday's 5-0 drubbing at Barclays Center by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Berube was given a "maintenance day" on Sunday, but has been deemed out for tonight's game against Tampa Bay.

Gibson is 19-11-3 for the Sound Tigers this season with a .909 save percentage. He's appeared in 42 games, the most among Bridgeport goalies. Gibson was acquired during the offseason, along with 17 other players, from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Michael Grabner and has played in one game for the Islanders this season; a period and a half of mop-up duty in a 5-2 loss to the Penguins back in January.

Berube didn't really help his own cause on Saturday, but he was also one of many, many Islanders to take the day off. It's the first time he's been on the wrong end of a blow-out in his seven game NHL career. A few weeks ago, Newsday's Arthur Staple posited the theory that Berube's solid play could mean the end of Jaroslav Halak's time with the Islanders, given Halak's (current and past) injury issues and contract. If you didn't believe it then, you probably still don't.

So in the final week of the season, with the Islanders needing just four points to clinch a playoff berth, it will be Thomas Greiss and, for now, a raw call-up from the AHL manning the pipes. Four points doesn't sound like a lot, right? It does when it's against the Lightning (even without injured Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman), the Capitals (on the second of a back-to-back), the Rangers (who need all the points they can get, too), the Sabres (who would love to spoil another team's future) and the Flyers (who have been playing like a pack of rabid dogs for months to get to the post-season). Have fun, guys.

This season has been one of starts and stops for the Islanders. Some nights they look good, and in some they look downright dreadful. Half the team can't be counted on to score and they're already down one starting goalie in Halak and a top four defenseman in Travis Hamonic.

It's not the optimal situation, but if this team was going to string together a few consistent, winning performances, now is going to have to be the time.