New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss has not missed a beat since leading the team down the stretch, to the second round of the playoffs (something that may have earned him the number one role), and then promptly hopping on a plane to join Germany at the IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Germany's 4-2 win over Hungary Monday sent them into the quarterfinals and made them a perfect 3-0 since Greiss joined following victories over Belarus (with one mulligan) and the USA (with one intra-Islander civil war moment). That's improved their record to 4 wins, 2 regulation losses and one overtime loss at the conclusion of group play.
He only faced 14 shots in the Hungary win, a team effort that puts Germany in the quarters for the first time since 2011, when their coach Marco Strum was still an NHL player.
In that round they will face a powerhouse for the quarterfinal -- either Russia, Czechia or Sweden -- but one thing at a time. As he said before the game against Belarus:
"If we go to the playoffs, we will probably end up against Russia. But this isn't the right time to think about it."
That's from an interview published on the IIHF site, which only reinforced the laid-back attitude Isles fans came to enjoy this season as he blossomed from the best backup they've had in decades to the heir apparent in the number one role after Jaroslav Halak was injured.
Other fun stuff from the interview:
On his Islanders season
"We won in the first round, and that’s fine. There was a chance in the second round too. That's why I’m a little bit disappointed."
On the gaffe against Belarus, and the meaning of life
"Everything is OK. Against Belarus I made a mistake. This was an accident, and I’ve moved on. The main thing is that we won. We have a simple objective in every game -- to win."
On his team goals for Germany
"I don’t like to discuss that. We’re going game to game. First of all, we need to qualify for the quarter-finals."