It hasn’t been the start to the 2021 season that Josh Bailey or Ryan Pulock were hoping for. Both New York Islanders veterans have struggled out of the gate and both are out of the lineup tonight for various reasons.
Ryan Pulock has a lower-body injury and will be evaluated when the team returns home tomorrow and Josh Bailey is in COVID-19 protocol according to the team.
Josh Bailey has just one point in the last five games that he’s played and when up top with Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee that line has really looked like a shell of itself. As for Ryan Pulock, he didn’t look the same away from Adam Pelech.
Production-wise, Pulock has just two assists and is a -2 so far on the year. He’s been working mostly with Zdeno Chara, who has started to turn it around a little bit, but the defense as a unit isn’t where it needs to be.
As a result of the change, these are what the line rushes looked like in warmups:
Noah Dobson returns to the lineup and will go back with a familiar face, Andy Greene. As a result, Sebastian Aho and Zdeno Chara will be paired together, which could get ugly based on the limited sample we’ve seen so far.
For the forward group, Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri will play on the wing with Mathew Barzal. Kieffer Bellows, who played last night too, will join Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson on the second line. Ironically, the Anders Lee – JG Pageau – Oliver Wahlstrom line could be the best unit skating tonight.
Ilya Sorokin will likely be tested tonight, we’ll see if he’s up for it. He’s done it before on this road trip, there’s a good chance he’ll need to do it again for the Islanders to win this one.