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Halak and Greiss pull their Weight

Islanders coach called goaltenders the "best thing in camp"

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss have been two of the New York Islanders best players at training camp, according to Islanders Head Coach Doug Weight. 

The Islanders tandem is going save-for-save, each goalie allowing only one goal through five periods of preseason play. Halak has stopped 56 of the 57 shots faced - all against the New York Rangers - while Greiss has stopped 42-of-43, including a 25-save shutout over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night. 

Neither goalie has faltered, with Halak's only blemish coming on a five-on-three penalty kill, while Greiss hasn't allowed a goal since shaking the rust off in his first minute of preseason play. 

"As far as I'm concerned, I have two great goalies and I'm excited to see them challenge each other in a great teammate kind of way," Weight said last week. "I'll have some tough decisions and I'm sure I'll have a big German mad at me sometimes, and I'll have Jaro mad at me sometimes, but they are going to challenge each other and I am completely confident in what I've seen so far."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: �� New mask �� #Isles

Weight warned to not read into who is the opening night starter. With the Islanders starting on a back-to-back, he said expect to see Halak and Greiss split the duties on opening weekend. 

"We are here for one reason, we're a team," Halak said at Islanders media day. "I'm sure Greisser wants to play, I want to play, so we'll see how it works out. But we just want to get to the playoffs, that's the goal. Not only for me, but for everybody in the locker room."

Weight said he's been impressed with all of his goaltenders during the Islanders rookie and main camps, giving a shoutout to American Hockey League goalies Kristers Gudlevskis, Christopher Gibson and Eamon McAdam and camp invite Mitch Gillam. On his roster, the Isles Head Coach welcomes the competition and Weight said he'll let his goalies make the decision for him with their play. 

"Whoever plays well will play, so just make sure you play well," Greiss said at media day. 

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Having two capable goalies may not be a bad thing for the Islanders. Halak owns the Islanders' single-season wins record (38) and two of Greiss' best years have come with the team, but neither have played over 60 games in a single season.

Halak's career high is 59, set during the 2014-15 season with the Islanders, but historically, he's hovered in the mid-40's to mid-50's in games played per year. Greiss' career-high is 51 - set last season - and he's only played 40 games twice. 

The Islanders will need both goalies throughout the season and with nearly identical numbers over the past two years, (Greiss: 2.54 GAA, .918SV% - Halak: 2.52 GAA, .917SV%) the team can feel good about whoever is out there. 

"The goaltenders have led the charge in training camp," Weight said. "Jaro and Thomas have been the best players at camp. Intense, great attitude, so I'm excited about that position."

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