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New York Islanders: Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews Need More 5on4 Time

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Ryan Pulock #6 of the New York Islanders (c) celebrates his power-play goal at 3:02 of the second period against the Edmonton Oilers and is joined by Devon Toews #25 (l) and Anthony Beauvillier #18 (r) at the Barclays Center on February 16, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Ryan Pulock #6 of the New York Islanders (c) celebrates his power-play goal at 3:02 of the second period against the Edmonton Oilers and is joined by Devon Toews #25 (l) and Anthony Beauvillier #18 (r) at the Barclays Center on February 16, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Nick Leddy is getting a ton of power play time for the New York Islanders. It’s not like the power play is producing, so why not change it up?

The New York Islanders don’t have a power play goal over their last six games. It’s clearly not going well on the man advantage. Something needs to change.

I’ve already discussed bringing wholesale changes to the groupings in the past. But I want to focus solely on the defenders and specifically Nick Leddy. Because while Barry Trotz has told us all he doesn’t have a PP1 and PP2, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Nick Leddy is getting far more power play ice time than he should be getting. Trotz clearly trusts Leddy over some of his other options. He shouldn’t.

Better Options

Against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday Nick Leddy logged over four minutes of power play time. It was 4:22 to be exact. The next closest blueliner in terms of ice time was Devon Toews with 1:58.

That’s a wild difference for a defender who, at least in my opinion, wasn’t as good as of the Islanders other options. So I looked at the Isles last four games to see if that ice time disparity repeated itself. Did Nick Leddy get way more power play time than Devon Toews or Ryan Pulock?

And shy of the Philadelphia Flyers game he did. Why?

*Times from NHL.com boxscores
**Shots and HDCF are from naturalstattrick.com

I compared Nick Leddy to both Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews because I felt they offer more to the Islanders on the power play. Devon Toews can distribute the puck effectively and Ryan Pulock can get the puck on net.

Over the last four games, you can see Nick Leddy gets more power play time than the two youngsters. But the one difference is the seven high-danger chances Leddy helped generate over the five when Toews is on the ice and three for Ryan Pulock.

We know Barry Trotz’s affinity for creating high-danger chances. So that could explain why Leddy is out there more frequently. And to an extent that makes sense. Nick Leddy is out there for more opportunities that could result in goals.

But considering the amount of ice time each player is getting Pulock and Toews generate more actual production on the power play.

With 124:51 of power play ice time this season Ryan Pulock generates 3.84 points per 60 this season (the most for Islanders defensemen). Devon Toews hits 3.45 points per 60 in 52:13 of power play time. Nick Leddy is at 2.91 Pts/60 with 206:28 of ice time.

Leddy still gives the Islanders production on the power play, but it isn’t anything like Pulock or Toews. As the New York Islanders approach the playoffs it’s time for them to give both an increased level of responsibility on the power play.

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The New York Islanders power play isn’t struggling because Nick Leddy is getting more time than Pulock or Toews. But if Barry Trotz is looking for an idea to help improve the power play, giving Pulock and Toews more time is an easy call to make.

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