The New York Islanders are using Adam Pelech on the top pair right now, and it’s clearly not working in their favor.
Saying, Adam Pelech doesn’t belong on the top pair for the New York Islanders isn’t some hot take. Over the past four years, Pelech has proven time and time again that he’s a sixth or seventh d-man and that’s it.
Yet, the Islanders have him playing a position that’s way over his head. He’s paired with Ryan Pulock playing over 20 minutes a night.
Last year, Pelech was averaging 19 minutes a night and that didn’t go well so seeing him on the ice, even more, is a real headscratcher. He was best-suited playing just under 17 minutes a night in 2016-2017 as a third pairing guy. That’s his ceiling.
Last night was probably Pelech’s worst game of the season. His head coach had this to say:
"“I didn’t think Pelly was good today. It was probably his weakest game so far, unfortunately. You’re going to have that. He’s playing bigger minutes and in more important situations.”"
Barry Trotz was spot on, he is playing more and in more important situations and he hasn’t been very good. He has six giveaways already and his corsi for percentage is a measly 44.1 percent.
One of the issues is the Islanders are lacking a true top pair guy to go along with Ryan Pulock. Pulock is fine on the top pair, they’re missing a lefty to go with him.
So far this year, Nick Leddy hasn’t looked all that great so I get the apprehension to put him with Pulock on the top pair. Last night, the Leddy and Boychuk pair looked completly lost on the second goal which is really deflating from the former top-pair.
The Islanders are going to struggle defensively because of their personnel. They looked very slow last night, and when they go against highly skilled teams like the Predators their speed, or lack thereof, will be put on display.
One thing is for certain, the Adam Pelech top-pair defenseman experiment has to come to a close soon. I know, Leddy’s struggled but he has the experience and I’d take my chances with him, for now, over an Adam Pelech.