New York Islanders Adam Pelech will be ready for the return of the 2019-20 season.
He doesn’t have flashy numbers and doesn’t play a flashy style, but New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech is wildly important to the fortunes of his club. That was abundantly clear when the defensive-defenseman sustained a season-ending injury in January.
Pelech tore his Achilles tendon playing one-touch soccer in the warm-up before a game against the New Jersey Devils at the Coliseum. Just like that, he was gone for the season.
We knew that Pelech was important to the Islanders plans, but we didn’t quite know the full extent of his impact on the team until he was out of the lineup.
On Wednesday, Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello confirmed that Adam Pelech would be ready for training camp in early June. That’s a huge win for the Isles.
Before and After
Before Adam Pelech was sidelined with that season-ending injury, the Isles were flying high. They were the fourth-best team in the league with a 25-10-3 record. Picking up where they left-off in 2018-19 and that 103 point season.
But after Pelech was sidelined, the Isles plummeted down the standings with a 10-13-7 record. That was the seventh-worst record in the league.
Without Pelech, the Islanders were having a hard time playing that defense-first style. Looking at his on-ice shooting metrics, it’s easy to why the Isles had a hard time without him. At 5on5, Pelech does an incredible job of keeping pucks to the exterior.
Here’s a visualization of the Isles 5on5 unblocked shot rates with Pelech on the ice. Notice the deep-blue right in front of the goal; that’s good. Now, here’s the visualization of the Isles 5on5 unblocked shot rates without Pelech. Notice the red in front of the goal; that’s bad.
Having Adam Pelech for the play-in series against the Florida Panthers goes a long way to allowing the Islanders to play the style they’re comfortable with. The style that allows them to win.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
Having a healthy squad gives the Islanders a great chance to not only beat the Florida Panthers in the play-in round, but a shot to go even further.