New York Islanders Patchwork Defense is Starting To Come Together

By Tim Ryder
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: Ryan Pulock
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: Ryan Pulock /
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new york islanders
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 19: Ryan Pulock /

New York Islanders Ryan Pulock Sets Isles Rookie D Record

Ryan Pulock scored a goal and added four assists in the New York Islanders 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night at the United Center. Not only did Pulock set the franchise record for points in a game by a rookie defenseman with five, it was the third time an Islander has tallied five points in a game this year (Mathew Barzal twice).

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Let’s hope Pulock doesn’t get a case of Jose Reyes Syndrome. What’s JRS, you ask? Jose Reyes, best known as the shortstop for the New York Mets for most of his career, had a knack for hitting the occasional home run. Whenever Reyes would string a couple of bombs together over a game or two, he’d go the next month doing nothing but swinging for the fences.

The correlation I’m trying to make is that we don’t want Ryan Pulock to get a taste of the limelight and start forgetting about his defensive assignments. It’s easy to succumb to the allure of being an offensively-minded superstar defenseman, a la Brian Leetch or Paul Coffey.

Being aggressive offensively and fundamentally sound on defense should go hand in hand. Do all the right things and you’ll find yourself in all the right places. Look at Pulock’s goal last night. He saw an opportunity and took it. Took it straight to the top shelf, actually. That was likely just a glimpse of the offensive upside of Ryan Pulock. Hopefully, he won’t slide down the slippery slope of chasing offensive glory.