Jaroslav Halak will miss the rest of the New York Islanders’ regular season.
“He’s out at least six weeks,” Jack Capuano said. “We’ll go from there.”
The Islanders' goaltender suffered a lower-body injury in Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, seemingly in pain after stretching out for a point shot. Halak is 18-13-4 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage this season.
“He’s an experienced guy who’s been down this stretch before and played some big games for us as we’ve made our playoff run,” Capuano said. “It’s a big loss for our team, but guys are going to get an opportunity to step in and hopefully can do the job.”
Thomas Greiss and Jean-Francois Berube will take over the reigns in Halak’s absence. Greiss is starting for the Islanders in Toronto and has a stellar record of his own, sporting an 18-6-3 record with a league-leading .930 SV%.
“This is something new for Thomas going forward,” Capuano said. “I just know the kind of kid he is, the character that he has and he competes hard.
“Knowing [Greiss], he will embrace the challenge,” the coach added. “JF is chomping to get in there and play well like he did after the break. Both of those guys work extremely hard and are going to get an opportunity.”
With the NHL playoffs starting in approximately five weeks – the Islanders’ regular season ends on April 10 – Halak’s earliest return would be in the first round.
“Our guys have the confidence in our goaltending,” Capuano said. “At the end of the day we have to play the hockey that we have to play with the injuries that we have. Guys can’t try to put too much pressure on themselves. Guys have to make sure we play simple hockey, simplify and do the little things.”
“We have to maintain the structure and foundation of what Islanders hockey is.”
CAPUANO ON HALAK'S INJURY