With Joe Thornton out of the lineup and Evgeni Nabokov taking a game off, the San Jose Sharks hung on to a slim 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

The Sharks managed to prove they could play solid hockey without two of the biggest stars in the game.

Despite being out-shot 45-32, backup goaltender Thomas Greiss made the saves when they mattered most and the rest of the Sharks were able to get enough lucky bounces to come away on top.

How does the phrase go? Better lucky than good?

Well, that can be debated.

However, a notion that isn't up for debate is a certain hockey phrase made popular by color commentators around the NHL: "it is never a bad play to put the puck on net."

While there are often better plays than putting the puck on net, attempting to score is never a bad idea.

On Sunday, each and every one of the Sharks goals came off a rather fortunate bounce.

Devin Setoguchi opened the scoring by deflecting Dan Boyle's shot off the post and in.

Jed Ortmeyer's second period goal appeared to go off of Logan Couture as the tally was originally credited to the Sharks rookie. Upon further review, the puck glanced off the Colorado defenseman and then off Anderson before sliding past the line.

Dan Boyle's go ahead tally in the third period bounced in off of Aves' defenseman Ruslan Salei's skate and Setoguchi's game winner bounced in off his leg after a shot from Joe Pavelski.

Clearly, the offense benefited from multiple lucky bounces. 

San Jose's goaltending on the other hand was anything but lucky as Greiss controlled the game from start to finish by making all the key stops and kicking rebounds out of danger.

With the 42 saves on 45 shots, Greiss finished with .933 save percentage for the game which saw him turn away more than his fair share of quality chances.

In the first period, Greiss ended up with 14 stops, the best of which came just a few minutes into the game. The German netminder kicked out his left pad and turned away a strong shot by pushing the rebound past the oncoming traffic and out of danger.

During the second, Greiss and the Sharks fended off a 5-on-3 disadvantage for 1:04 until Colorado took a 2-1 lead on the ensuing 5-on-4 power-play.

For the entire middle frame, the Sharks' rookie turned away 17 of 19 shots and kept San Jose down just one until Ortmeyer's tally late in the period tied things up going into the third.

Over the final 20 minutes, the only puck that beat Greiss ended up clanging off the post and then bounced in off Colorado forward Peter Mueller for his second of the game.

Down the stretch however, the Greiss proved to be on a mission in making the Sharks' 4-3 advantage stick in the final moments.

Colorado had a flurry of chances in the final minute and a half but were shut down time and time again as Greiss closed the door on numerous quality opportunities, one of which saw the Sharks netminder have to make a strong push across to stop a one timer from in close.

Overall, the German Olympian's performance on Sunday mimicked many of his previous starts this season.

Unfortunately, Greiss hasn't played nearly often enough for the Sharks to get a real grasp on whether or not he could be the goalie of the future.

So far this season, San Jose's backup has started just 11 games in his first full year at the NHL level.

Now the good news is that in seven of those games, Greiss posted save percentages of .920 or higher. But the bad news is in the other four, Greiss has averaged a save percentage of .885.

And in relief of Nabokov, Greiss hasn't performed very well at all, with a save percentage of just .769 in a handful of games.

So which goaltender will Greiss be over the long term?

At this point, we just don't know.

Fortunately, they're a few things we do know.

Greiss has never been pulled as a Shark. 

He has seven victories in those eleven starts and generally the team plays well in front of him.

Plus, the first start in which the Sharks didn't play well in front of him, Greiss proved to be up to the task, bailing his team out time and time again.

Now with his latest performance, one would think Greiss proved worthy of at least one, if not two more starts before the regular season concludes.

San Jose currently has a four point lead in the division and a five point lead on second place in the conference.

The Sharks have some wiggle a top the standings and giving Greiss more time between the pipes would be ideal.

With a road re-match against Colorado still on the schedule, as well as hosting another playoff team in Vancouver, the Sharks can see just what they have in their backup netminder.

By starting Greiss during these two games, the Sharks can finally see what the 24-year-old goaltender truly brings to the table.

If he is up to the challenge and performs well in both contests, then the Sharks should feel comfortable handing him the reigns next season. If he struggles, then resigning Nabokov or another free agent goalie during the offseason would be more understandable.

But if Greiss doesn't get any more starts the rest of the year, the goaltending situation will be remain a big question heading into next season.