It's been an up and down defensive start for the New York Islanders through seven games this season. They've allowed 19 goals this season, with 12 of them coming against two of the more high-powered offensive teams in the league in the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche. Outside of that, the Isles have recorded two shutouts and have allowed three goals just one other time.
The injury to Scott Mayfield in the season opener has led to the other five opening-night defensemen logging more minutes as Samuel Bolduc needs to show more to head coach Lane Lambert to deserve more minutes outside of the hand-picked situations where he has taken the ice with Sebastian Aho. Meanwhile, Adam Pelech and Noah Dobson have drawn the opposition's best forwards most nights with mixed results.
However, there has been one tandem that has been rock solid this season, and that's the pairing of Ryan Pulock and Alexander Romanov. According to Money Puck, The Pelech-Romanov combination has been on the ice for 101.3 minutes this season and has yet to allow a goal. Across the league, there's just one defensive pair (Hughes-Hronek in Vancouver) that has played more minutes together without surrendering a goal.
The pairing of the disciplined and defensively sound Pulock has worked well with the smooth-skating and big-hitting Romanov, allowing the 23-year-old more opportunity to be aggressive and trust his instincts, knowing that Pulock will be in the right position to make a sound defensive play if an odd-man rush presents itself for the opposing team.
Outside of Mayfield-Aho, who only played together for 10 minutes on opening night, the Pelech-Romanov is the only pair yet to score a goal. That's an easy trade-off if they can continue to play together as they had the first seven games of the season defensively.