In the Islanders’ second-round series against Boston, Adam Pelech was a beast. There are stats to support this claim. Look them up, study them, memorize them. Then, recite them to somebody you love. When you’re finished, come back here and watch this video. It’s a bunch of good things he did in round two: body checks, poke checks, gap control, defensive zone exits, penalty killing and more.
A more in-depth write-up on Pelech will be coming in the offseason. I will take a deep dive into how, under Barry Trotz, he has developed into a true shutdown defenseman. I just had to show him some love now because he was such a defensive monster against Boston.
Next Assignment: Ride the Lightning
In the upcoming Stanley Cup Semifinal series against Tampa Bay - which starts today at 3 p.m. - Pelech and his defensive partner, Ryan Pulock, will likely match up against the Lightning’s top line of Kucherov, Point and Palat. The Islanders will need them to continue playing shutdown defense in order to advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1984.