Ryan Pulock's emergency recall hinted at an injury on the Islanders blue line, and on Friday Jack Capuano confirmed it, saying Nick Leddy is day-to-day with an upper-body ailment.
The coach didn't offer details on Leddy's injury, saying the team will know more on Friday.
Leddy's injury opens the door for Pulock, who was recalled by the Islanders during the regular season last February and remained with the team through the playoffs.
"I'm back here now, I want to get in, go out there and play my game, play like I was playing last year and show I belong here," Pulock said.
Pulock was in the mix to make the Islanders out of camp, but the combination of a crowded roster, plus his two-way deal, (allowing him to move between Bridgeport and the Islanders without waivers) and the late signing of Dennis Seidenberg meant he was loaned to the AHL to start the season.
"He could have [made the team]," Capuano said on Thursday. "He didn't have the best training camp, we talked to him and he wasn't assertive enough. He knows that. For him to be effective he has to play fast and this will be an opportunity now. We'll use him on the power play a bit if he does get in and see how his game is."
Pulock practiced on the Islanders' top power-play unit on Thursday, taking Leddy's place on the blue line. Whereas Leddy is primarily used for zone entries and as insurance against shorthanded breakaways - he can catch nearly anyone in the league with his speed - Pulock's raw power is a tantalizing prospect.
"When you play some top units in this league, they have a couple of different options and weapons, so you're not always focused on the one," Capuano said. "If he's out there, you have 91 on the half wall, now you have six up top or on a flank, so you try to open up a two-on-one. It gives us some options and it gives the opposition something that they have to take away."
Getting the shot off is a priority for Pulock, which also ties in to the assertiveness Capuano wants to see out of him.
"For me, it's just keep it simple and when I get a chance to shoot, let it go," Pulock said. "It's a weapon of mine and I have to use it.
ISLANDERS LINES AND D-PAIRS:
|LEFT WING ||CENTER ||RIGHT WING |
|ANDREW LADD ||JOHN TAVARES ||JOSH BAILEY |
|ANDERS LEE ||BROCK NELSON ||JASON CHIMERA |
|NIKOLAY KULEMIN ||CASEY CIZIKAS ||CAL CLUTTERBUCK |
|ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER ||ALAN QUINE ||RYAN STROME/MATHEW BARZAL |
|LEFT ||RIGHT |
|THOMAS HICKEY ||TRAVIS HAMONIC |
|CALVIN DE HAAN ||JOHNNY BOYCHUK |
|DENNIS SEIDENBERG ||RYAN PULOCK |