When Ryan Pulock was recalled from Bridgeport yesterday, any excitement about finally getting the young defenseman back on the big club was tempered by a curious qualifier: “on an emergency basis.”
We weren’t sure what the emergency was since no one had left the Islanders’ Tuesday loss against San Jose with an injury. But from today’s practice, we got our answer: Nick Leddy is day-to-day with an upper body injury per Jack Capuano.
Cappy: Nick Leddy is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. #Isles— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 20, 2016
We’ll get more info on the injury tomorrow, per Arthur Staple of Newsday. Let’s hope it’s just general beard soreness that a good trimming will cure.
Losing the smooth-skating Leddy is less than ideal, to say the least, even if he hasn’t had a smooth start to the season. Via Staple:
But now the Isles have lost three of their first four, including a 3-2 loss to the Sharks at Barclays Center on Tuesday that featured a difficult outing from the top pair of Nick Leddy and Travis Hamonic. Those two have been on the ice for six of the nine even-strength goals the Islanders have allowed this season and have the lowest Corsi-for percentage (the percentage of shots attempted by the Islanders while those players are on the ice) of any defense pair so far.
That said, Leddy is easily the best defenseman the Islanders have for breakouts and zone entries, no matter how much he’s struggled the defensive end in the early going.
Pulock will help - as will that power play shot we’ve only gotten glimpses of so far - and he was already practicing with the first PP unit as of this morning. But once Leddy returns from however long he’s out for, Pulock will probably need to go back to the Sound Tigers unless a new spot opens up for him.
Perhaps one day very soon, we’ll see a power play unit with both Leddy and Pulock and Anders Lee, who possess net front skills most players don’t have. But because this is the Islanders, we probably won’t for one reason or another.