The New York Islanders took steps to address their power play Wednesday morning, devoting most of their practice to special teams.
After an 0-for-20 start to the season, Head Coach Doug Weight tinkered with his units. Ryan Pulock was a notable addition on the top power-play group, practicing with John Tavares, Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee.
"There needs to be changes, whether it's personnel, some structure and they have to have a freshness," Weight said. "We're starting anew. We could have won some games and we have to start contributing and we gave them some good structure today and some new looks and some new things that will fit our team better."
Pulock, who has yet to play this season, scored 22 power-play goals in three seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and two power-play points (1G, 1A) in six playoff games for the Islanders in 2015-16. Weight said to pencil in Pulock for Thursday's game against the New York Rangers, but will announced his official lineup Thursday morning.
"Every game you want to play and I haven't got that chance yet," Pulock said. "If it comes tomorrow I want to be ready. I think can really help the power play and that's what I'm going to try to do."
Pulock's 100-mph slap shot would give the Islanders top unit the threat of a big shot. With Leddy practicing on the point, Pulock appeared to be more of a rover during Wednesday's practice, looking for open ice to utilize his cannon.
"Personally I like it because it gives me an opportunity to shoot the puck, that's my strength," Pulock said. "If I can find that spot, find some seams and get the puck, I just want to pound it on net. A lot of times, it's either going in, or there's a rebound and hopefully we can cash in on those."
The defenseman said the power play has to get pucks on net to utilize Lee's goal-mouth presence, either for screens or rebounds. Jordan Eberle said the Islanders need to be hungrier around the net.
"More than anything we have to up our intensity level a bit when the pucks are around the net," Eberle said. "You look at the power play and 90% of the goals scored on it are greasy, in-around-the-net shots and creating second opportunities. We have to get back to that. The good thing is we know we have the players here to do it. If we stick with it, we'll be okay."
NOTES: Johnny Boychuk also took some reps with the first power-play unit, subbing in for Pulock. Adam Pelech was given a look on the second power-play unit, along with Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Andrew Ladd and Brock Nelson. Joshua Ho-Sang subbed in and out with Nelson during practice.