With a few minutes left in their game in Carolina on Friday night, Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss appeared to injure his leg as it jammed against the post. He stuck it out to finish off an improbable 3-0 shutout in one of his better games of what’s been a very ineffective season for him.
A day later, Doug Weight said Greiss had tweaked something and would be evaluated fully with a decision made later. Turns out that decision was injured reserve, retroactive to Friday, and to recall Christopher Gibson from Bridgeport of the AHL.
Greiss’ 45 saves against the Hurricanes was his best game since his superhuman 52-save performance in Montreal a few weeks ago. Those and a handful of other games represent the outliers in what’s been a disastrous season for the normally steady German. An .891 save percentage would have led the league in 1984, but in 2018, it’s isn’t acceptable for any professional level. The fact that Greiss has even played in 24 games and hadn’t been sent to the Sound Tigers shows that the Islanders needed him to hold his own and expected him to straighten out if they were to have a prayer of making this a playoff season.
Friday’s game gave us a glimmer of hope that Greiss might finally revert to his normal level. Now, we’re all gonna have to wait.
But it might not even be that long. The Islanders have only three games this week - today’s matinee versus Minnesota, then Thursday in Toronto (yikes) and Saturday in New Jersey, which will be huge for playoff implications. Jaroslav Halak would have probably played all three anyway, so Gibson will most likely be watching from the bench. There’s been no indication yet of just how long Greiss might be out.
Weight on Greiss: "I don’t want to speak out of turn. Certainly lower-body injuries for goalies are a little tougher to decipher. Hopefully he can get back quick." #Isles— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 19, 2018
Gibson, 25, is 18-11-3 with a .909 save percentage in 33 games for Bridgeport this season, which isn’t exactly mind-blowing. He’s really been in the zone lately, though, earning back-to-back shutouts against Providence and Hartford last weekend. Unfortunately, only one of those was a win, as the Sound Tigers lost 1-0 in a shootout to Providence. Still, 52 regulation saves over the course of two games is pretty darn good.
But Gibson is an Islander for the time being, which means he might need to make that many stops in a single game.