So we missed yesterday. We are always looking for contributors to lighten the load on our current writers so if you are interested in blogging, tweet to @Buttercluck15 and we will set you up!
We chose this game due to the playoff implications that favor the Islanders today. The Islanders sit in the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference at 71 points. Toronto and Florida sit behind them at 70 and 69 points. Both of those teams are off today. The Islanders desperately need this game to give some breathing room between the teams. Thomas Greiss is expected in net tonight and he has been a solid reason why the Isles are living to breathe another day in this playoff hunt. Before coach Doug Weight took over the reigns in New York, Jack Capuano was notorious for the back to back goalie shift. He would rarely, if ever, play the same goalie no matter how hot they were or how cold the other was. Doug Weight changed that pattern and put Greiss in goal the other day against the Blackhawks. Smart move as the Islanders were able to take away a point from the offensively talented Chicago Blackhawks and limit them to only one goal in regulation (which came at 18:43 in the third. Standard Isles hockey right there). Problem is… are you burning out your number 1 goalie?
The Islanders have former #1 goalie Jaroslav Halak in the minors, and frankly, he is destroying games down there. He is 14-2-1 with a 2.02 GAA and .931 save percentage. Compare that to his dismal season with the Isles at 6-8-5 with a 3.23 GAA and .904 save percentage. I personally would rather Halak in net than JF Berube who has been shaky at best in his starts.
As for Calgary, they are playing like a team who deserves a playoff spot. They are looking for their seventh win in a row and are sitting in first of two wild card spots in the Western Conference. They haven’t fared well with the Islanders of late however. In these teams last 10 meetings, Calgary is 2-6-2 with their most recent loss in November by a score of 2-1.
We’re interested to see how Greiss is going to handle the added responsibility and if Halak will be brought up any time soon. They can’t ride Greiss in every game and if Weight doesn’t trust Berube to back him up, then what is the harm? Could it have something to do with Allan Walsh, Halak’s agent? When Walsh isn’t blocking Islander fans on Twitter (I can proudly say I am one of them), he does his best Donald Trump impression by posting Tweets that get a conversation stirring. Can he have anything to do with the hesitation of calling Halak up? Hopefully for the Islanders sake they can figure something out and finally get a even number of goalies up. One is the loneliest number, but three is a crowd.
Michelle Passi is the owner and administrator of the Blue Line Banter. Follow her on Twitter @Buttercluck15