How Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock stabilized the Islanders blue line and took them to new heights in the 2020-21 season
The Norris Trophy is awarded to the player judged by voters to be the league’s best defenceman; typically a guy who plays big minutes in all situations and scores a bunch of points in the process.
Since the discourse concerning that award is centred on the best individual accomplishments on the blue line, we're often susceptible to neglecting something every bit as valuable -- a dominant pairing composed of two excellent defenders who are better than the sum of their parts.
That’s why New York Islanders defencemen Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock, despite remarkable breakout seasons, will not find themselves in the running for the Norris; their contributions will likely go unrecognized by most hockey fans, too. It’s a shame, because they are the major reason that their team took another step this season in the standings, and everything under the hook looks better, too.
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