Four to six weeks turned into eleven weeks and a day for Ryan Pulock. The New York Islanders number one defenseman has been out for eleven weeks with an injury. Almost twice as long as his initial diagnosis.
And tonight, he could be back for the Islanders. Barry Trotz wouldn't commit to a yes or no during the post-practice presser, but he did say it would be a "game-time decision". Now add the fact that Robin Salo was skating with the extra today and it seems that the Isles are at least readying themselves for Pulock being in the lineup today.
Getting Pulock back won't immediately boost the team into a playoff position, but getting him back certainly boosts the Islanders hopes that they can maybe string a few wins together to get there.
New York Islanders Ryan Pulock (might) be back
Pulock may not be paid like an elite-level defenseman but he is one. His defensive play is top-tear in the NHL. His offensive production is lacking, but we've seen Pulock put up a 12 goal and 42 point pace in 2019-20. If the Isles can get that Pulock back (maybe tonight) it will help them immensely as they try to push up the Metro Division.
New York Islanders Projected Lines
*Happy 31st birthday Kyle Palmieri
**Casey Cizikas skated with the team today after missing Sunday's game with a non-COVID illness. Likely in tonight.
With Pulock (possibly) back tonight, the Islanders can re-unite the Pelech-Pulock pair. They had split the two at the start of the year due to Chara-Dobson struggling, but that pair has since stabilized so there's no need to split the elite duo of Pelech-Pulock anymore.
The Islanders are heavy favorites tonight according to WynnBet. The Isles money line is set at -250 to the visiting Senators being a +210.
Where to watch?
Live: 7PM puck drop at UBS Arena
TV: MSG+, MSG GO, ESPN+
Radio: 1050 AM, 88.7FM, 103.9FM