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Islanders: three positives through the early season

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Adam Pelech #3 of the New York Islanders celebrates after scoring during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on September 28, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Adam Pelech #3 of the New York Islanders celebrates after scoring during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on September 28, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – MAY 16: Adam Pelech #3 of the New York Islanders looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during overtime in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Adam Pelech

The Islanders defensive structure has been horrendous. Just about every defenseman has been terrible. They’ve either failed to clear the front of the net, have no concept of gap control, or generally don’t really knowing where to be or go.

It’s been an absolute failure from top to bottom for the Islanders blueline. Except for one player; Adam Pelech.

The Isles rear-guard has been the one and only steady hand on an otherwise shaky defensive core. Which isn’t necessarily surprising. Pelech has been an elite shutdown defenseman for a few years now. It’s why he was given such a huge upgrade on the $1.6 million deal that just expired at the end of 2020-21.

But one player can’t cover up the problems faced by an entire team. If everyone else is running around making mistakes, Pelech alone isn’t going to make it all better. It’s just not how things work.

The Islanders are only as good as the sum of their parts. And the sum isn’t good. Save for Pelech of course.

Sure, he hasn’t helped create a goal or even been on the ice to create a goal but he hasn’t been on the ice when a goal has been scored against the Isles, which hasn’t been the case for any other defenseman on the team:

  • 5on5 Goals against per Isles defenseman:
    • Pulock: 2
    • Dobson: 3
    • Mayfield: 4
    • Greene: 4
    • Chara: 5
    • Pelech: 0

(Stats from NaturalStatTrick)

Again, Adam Pelech is the lone strength out there for the Islanders. It seems he’s the only one who knows what he’s doing out there. He should be in the ear of every Islanders defenseman.

For now, Pelech is the lone positive on the back end for the New York Islanders. As much as things change some things remain the same.

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