RALEIGH, N.C. — Thomas Greiss backed up J-F Berube on Saturday night, and perhaps that’s the role Greiss is most comfortable in. The 30-year-old goaltender has not exactly seized the moment since Jaroslav Halak went down for the remainder of the regular season (at least) on March 8, and Friday’s 7-4 loss to the Lightning was the nadir of Greiss’ three-week stretch.
“We know he’s playing more than he’s played in the past, but I really can’t answer that question,” coach Jack Capuano said about Greiss’ mental approach possibly changing since being handed the primary spot in goal. “I haven’t really talked to him about that.”
In 26 starts before Halak’s injury, Greiss allowed at least three goals only 10 times and posted an NHL-leading .930 save percentage. In seven starts since the injury, he has allowed at least three goals five times, and the Isles are 1-5-1 in the games in which he’s played.
His 36 appearances this season are by far the most he’s had in the NHL and the most he’s had at any level since 2008-09, when he was playing for Worcester in the AHL in the Sharks’ organization. He doesn’t view the increase in goals and the decrease in his save percentage (he’s down to .924 for the season) as a mental problem.
“I feel good, I feel confident out there,” he said after Friday night’s loss. “Sometimes it’s bounces. Sometimes when you’re not scoring as a team, you press and give up better chances. But I feel the same.”
On the mend on LI
Mikhail Grabovski (upper body) has resumed skating back at IceWorks as he missed his sixth straight game and 16th of the last 17. He joined D Adam Pelech (upper body), who might be ready to take part in a full practice by Monday. That could be with the Islanders or in Bridgeport, where Pelech will head when he’s ready to get some work in before the season ends.