Nick Leddy appears to be out for the Islanders, at least for Friday night’s visit by the Coyotes. Ryan Pulock, up from Bridgeport, appears to be in and that means his big slap shot could be just the thing for the Isles’ moribund power play.
Leddy missed Thursday’s practice with an upper-body injury and is day-to-day, according to Jack Capuano. But with two days off the ice (Wednesday was a team off day) since Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Sharks, it seems quite likely that Leddy will sit out at least Friday’s game and possibly more.
Enter Pulock, who seemed a shoo-in to make the opening-night roster when training camp opened but had a disappointing camp. Coupled with his waiver-exempt status, the 22-year-old understood the decision to send him back to Bridgeport last week.
“I could have been better,” Pulock said. “I think I was at times putting too much pressure on myself not to make mistakes, whereas I’ve just got to go out there, just play, not worry about that. That’s a big part of it — play without that hesitation.”
That goes for the top power-play unit, where Pulock practiced Thursday in place of Leddy to try and unleash his big shot and get the Isles going. They are 1-for-11 on the power play in their four games.
“When things are going good on the power play, you just simplify. Get shots to the net, bodies to the net, hammer pucks and things open up from there,” said Andrew Ladd, who still is without a point in the first four games of his Islanders career. “Maybe there’s been a little too much thinking, trying to make a play rather than just bombing it and getting bodies there.”
Capuano jumbled his defense pairs in Leddy’s absence, putting Calvin de Haan with Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Hickey with Travis Hamonic and Dennis Seidenberg with Pulock.
“Offensively, we just haven’t been there yet,” Capuano said of his team, which has only nine goals during its 1-3-0 start. “We obviously need to get that going.”
Notes & quotes: Ryan Strome, who stayed on well after practice for some extra work, will likely face younger brother Dylan for the first time in the NHL on Friday. “It’s a pretty special thing, not too many people get to do that,” he said. “We need a win pretty bad here, so that’s the most important thing. But it’ll be cool to play against him.”