Home / Home / Thomas Greiss has lived for the big moments ever since he became an Islander

Thomas Greiss has lived for the big moments ever since he became an Islander

Jaroslav Halak went down.

Five years ago, the Islanders were playing a pivotal game in early March against the Pittsburgh Penguins. At the time, the Isles were positioning themselves for the stretch run on their way to a second consecutive postseason. Late in the third — after Anders Lee gave the Isles a 2-1 lead — Halak got hurt, stretching out to make a save; the next day it was announced Halak had suffered a groin injury and that he’d be out six weeks.

In relief of Halak, Thomas Greiss took over.

Greiss, who had been the backup to Jaro all year after signing a two-year deal in the offseason, ended up saving all three shots he faced, which led the Isles to a 2-1 win. Over a month later, he would help propel the Islanders to their first playoff series win in 23 years.

That night though, and his performance in the postseason, Islander fans bore witness to what they would come to know about Greiss.

Beyond the calm, even keel facade…he lives for the big moment.

Which brings us to last night, where Greiss came up huge, again.

Tabbed by head coach Barry Trotz for the backend of a back-to-back, Greiss was rock solid as the Islanders won game four of their second-round series, leaving them one win away from the team’s first trip to the Eastern Conference Final in 27 years.

He turned away 36 of 38 Flyers shots, and made some monster saves to not only keep the game tied but secure the victory.

“I knew at some point that both goaltenders would be a part of the solution [in the postseason],” Trotz said after the win. Tonight, there’s no question that Greisser was part of the solution.”

Having not seen much action this postseason — Semyon Varlamov had played in all of the team’s playoff games leading into last night and only replacing said Varlamov in game two — Greiss showed again he was ready to step up.

“You always have to be ready,” Greiss told reporters following the win. “Just stop the puck. There’s not much else going on. It’s not rocket science out there.”

In the second period with the Islanders under siege, he stood tall and helped them escape the period still even at one. Greiss was massive too just before J.G. Pageau’s go-ahead goal to give the Isles the lead near the midpoint of the third. His stop glove stop on Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux could have given the Flyers the lead.

Greiss’ excellent showing was a microcosm especially for Trotz who has now worked with him for two seasons.

“You talk about the ultimate goalie partner,” Trotz added when asked about Greiss. “For anybody, Thomas Greiss is it. Whatever you want, he’s all in.

”Tonight he was outstanding.”

No one knows what will happen with Greiss and his position with the Islanders past this postseason. He is a free agent and the Isles now have 25-year-old stud prospect Ilya Sorokin now in the fold.

But if Greiss has proven anything during his time as an Islander, it’s that the bigger the stage the more he turns it on.

He lives for the big moment. And it was evident again last night.




About Rob Taub

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