Ryan Pulock making huge strides with Islanders
The Islanders are first place in the Metro Divison with 72 points, and most of that is attributed to defense and goaltending. Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss are the best one-two combination in hockey, and each of the forwards and defensemen have stepped up their game to keep the Islanders as the best defensive team in the NHL.
However, there is one man in particular who has taken his game from potential good player to star. His name is Ryan Pulock and his name doesn’t get mentioned nearly as much as it should.
Pulock has scored 2 goals in the past 5 games, including a game winner in OT against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon. He has 7 total points in his last 5 games and has played the most minutes of any D man so far in 2019.
What changed from last season to this season? Well a few things; Pulock is using his body a lot more than he used to. Instead of using his long stick to constantly reach for pucks, he puts himself in more opportunistic positions in both zones.
He has a new confidence that no one really saw last season. If you watch him play, a puck he would have dumped back in last season is now either being one timed or he’s toe dragging the puck into a better position to shoot.
Lastly, he’s actually hitting the net. He’s still got a long way to go and is wildly inaccurate, but his past few games have shown that he has much better control over his shot. In addition, he’s been using a shot pass much more this season, which has led to his high assist total.
Is Ryan Pulock a superstar yet? No, not even close but he has the potential to be one. Pulock has rare offensive ability and has a hell of a shot. He’s improved immensely on the defensive side and has fully bought into Barry Trotz’s system. It’s nice to see that Pulock has taken many strides this season. There’s a long way to go but the future is bright for the young star.
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