Clutch plays have a way to embed themselves in our memories. I remember watching Casey Cizikas before he suited up for the New York Islanders, and how he singlehandedly killed a penalty for Team Canada in the 2011 World Juniors.
The future Islanders fourth line center knocked off nearly 30 seconds from a Russian power play all on his own in the Russian zone. If you haven’t seen it go watch it now. Those plays just have a way of sticking in our minds.
A year ago, Ryan Pulock pulled this epic play to stop a sure goal in the dying second of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ryan McDonagh thought he had it. His spin-o-rama play took out both Brock Nelson, who dove to the ice to stop him, and Semyon Varlamov, who was well out of his crease to try and make a stop. His backhanded attempt had a clear line to the back of the net.
The game was going to be tied with 2.6 seconds left in regulation.
McDonagh wasn’t counting on Ryan Pulock coming across the crease and sweeping his shot attempt away before it had a chance to cross the goal line. Not only that but Pulock’s second attempt to tap the puck out of Cirelli’s reach probably stops a second attempt on the net.
But more importantly, his playe preserved the Isles 3-2 score line. And with time expired the horn goes and the Isles take Game 4 to tie the series 2-2.
We all remember where we were when Pulock made that play. For me, I was right where I am now, sitting in front of my computer working the game for Eyes on Isles. I jumped out of my seat and woke up my two young kids. My wife was none-too-pleased, but boy was I ever pleased by Ryan Pulock.