Thomas Greiss looks like a man on a mission to get his Islanders to the postseason.
Greiss made 34 saves in the Islanders' 3-1 victory over the Flyers on Thursday. Philadelphia's lone goal came on a first period power play.
"We were definitely a little hesitant in all three zones," captain John Tavares said of his team's performance early. "[But] Greisser was huge for us there, and we got the goal and everyone pulled their socks up."
With the victory, Greiss improved to 17-8-3 with a 2.39 goals against average and a .923 save percentage on the season. Since Jaro Halak was sent to Bridgeport, Greiss is 9-3-2 with a .926 save percentage.
Tavares hits the nail right on the head. Early on in this one, it didn't look like the Isles had their legs, and Greiss was challenged in a big way. But Greiss, just as he has been since assuming the number one job, was up to the task. His first period blocker stop on Claude Giroux, where he slide to his right side and extended his arm to take away a sure fire goal from the Flyers captain, stood above the rest. And even when Wayne Simmonds beat him, it was only barely, as Greiss got a piece and nearly stopped the puck from crossing the line. Had Greiss not been extraordinary, New York could have been down by at least two or three goals, and then it would have been a much different hockey game.
Instead, Greiss was the calming influence he has proven to be, and allowed the Isles to go to work on the power play, get even, and go from there. I'm so impressed with the way Greiss has handled everything the team has thrown at him, and a big reason I'm so anxious to see if the Isles can sneak into the playoffs is to catch a glimpse of what Greiss has in store for an encore to that incredible postseason run a year ago. If he keeps playing like this, the sky could be the limit for the Isles, and that's a testament to what Thomas means to this hockey club.