Unlike most heroes, Thomas Greiss had to take off his mask to be unrecognizable.
OK, OK, hero might be pushing it, but Greiss did come up clutch, bailing out a few stranded Long Islanders on Saturday after the Islanders’ game against the Flyers was postponed — not that they knew their help came courtesy of the Isles’ netminder.
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While most people were stuck inside as winter storm Jonas dumped more than 30 inches of snow over parts of New York, Greiss was out and about with his truck . . . pulling people out of snow banks.
“I was having fun in the snow and I saw a bunch of people getting stuck,” said Greiss, who with his wife, Brittney, was returning from a Home Depot run in their Ford F-150 when they started stopping to help people out. “Luckily, I had a tow rope and it was pretty easy to pull them up.”
Greiss said he pulled at least three or four people out, and his wife tweeted a picture of him in the middle of the act — gloveless and hitching his car to what appears to be a Nissan hatchback caught on the side of the road. “We went to Home Depot to test the raptor,” she tweeted. “Thomas got a towrope and has been helping all over. #proudwife”
Though Greiss has stamped his name on this season’s Islanders’ squad — the team signed him hoping for a reliable backup and instead he’s played 21 games to Jaroslav Halak’s 25, with comparable statistics — it turns out, it’s not so easy to recognize an NHL goalie without the mask or the pads. Even when he happens to have Greiss’ telltale German accent.
“No,” no one recognized him, Greiss said, adding that people were stranded everywhere. “It was tough to see the snow banks in the whiteout conditions,” he said. “The snow plows just threw anywhere, I guess.”
He added that it wasn’t too arduous of a task, since it’s “a decent truck that does pretty well in the snow.”
Its owners, too.