New York Islanders Fall to Nashville Predators, 3-1 (EN)
Mar 27, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nashville Predators center Craig Smith (15) plays the puck against the New York Islanders during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders’ power play struggled again, leading fans to wonder why Ryan Pulock isn’t in Brooklyn.

New York Islanders 1 (35-27-12, 82 points)
Nashville Predators 2 (39-25-11, 89 points)
NHL, Final, Box Score
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

If only there was a power play wiz waiting in the wings.

Oh, wait… there is. Ryan Pulock, the Islanders’ highly-touted defensive prospect, is in Bridgeport right this second, likely wondering with just about everyone else in the hockey world why he’s not in Brooklyn.

Because honestly, let’s face it: the Isles are in the midst of a grueling playoff push, and their defense is failing, their power play is failing, and frankly, their entire team is failing. If only they had someone who could solve these problems…

Ryan Pulock?

Pulock, 22, has a lot going for him. He can anchor a power play. He can shoot a puck 102-mph. He can create shots for himself. He can use his big frame to his advantage. So why isn’t he in the NHL?

That’s the million-dollar-question. Unfortunately, we don’t have any answers.

That places the onus on the front office to defend their lack of activity. As the season nears its conclusion, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the biggest obstacle between the Isles and their playoff hopes is an offensive-minded defenseman.

Aw, shucks… Just seconds after Doug Weight successfully challenged the Predators’ first goal of the game, Kevin Fiala buried the puck in the back of the net to put the Isles in a 1-0 deficit.

Hey, Josh Bailey… ‘we want to know, will you score a goal?’ Bailey answered that chant with a euphoric ‘yes,’ getting New York on the board at the 17:20 mark of the second period. He now has a goal and two assists over his last three games.

Of significance… this is the fifth consecutive game determined by a mere goal. The others were: 3-2 loss to Columbus, 3-2 win over Rangers, 4-3 win over Penguins and 2-1 loss to Bruins.

With the loss… the Isles drop to two points behind the Bruins for the final wild card spot, but without the comfort of an extra game in hand. Tampa lost to the Blackhawks on Monday night, while Boston faces Nashville on Tuesday.

Coming up next… the Isles travel to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.