New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson got off to a hot start this year but has since slowed down. There’s a reason why his production began to drop.
Through the first nine games of the year, Brock Nelson was on fire. He looked like a player that finally realized his shooting potential and he was being put in situations where he could succeed. Then, the New York Islanders did something really stupid. They sent down Josh Ho-Sang.
Ho-Sang hadn’t found the back of the net in the six games he played with the Islanders. But he did have four assists in the games he did play. So, you can’t say he wasn’t contributing on offense.
One of our writer’s Kate wrote how Brock Nelson was thriving because of Ho-Sang’s talent. Since the demotion Kate’s looking like a genius with her theory.
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Before October 25, the day Ho-Sang was exiled to the depths of Bridgeport Connecticut, Brock Nelson had five goals (six points). Since Nelson has notched just two assists in five games. There’s a noticeable difference in his play.
The current lines look something like this:
Lee – Tavares – Bailey
Ladd – Barzal – Eberle
Beauvillier – Nelson – Chimera
Kulemin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Jason Chimera has looked like hot garbage through the first 14 games. He has just two assists to his name while posting a minus three. Veteran experience and decent speed for a 38-year-old can only get you so far.
He’s not doing anything to make his other two linemates, Nelson and Beauvillier, any better. Beau isn’t an offensive enough player to make Nelson better, but Ho-Sang is.
This isn’t a case of being mad at Brock Nelson for underperforming. If anything, it just shows how the Islanders are mishandling a situation by playing a veteran over a young kid (sound familiar?).
Mathew Barzal has thrived at the next level if only Ho-Sang was given a fair shot before being sent back down. We’ll likely see him again this year but every game he’s out of the lineup for Chimera is an opportunity wasted. Not only for Ho-Sang but for the team in general.
Ho-Sang made Brock Nelson watchable through the first month of the year. Just let that sink in for a minute then ask yourself how much you value veteran experience. It’s a performance-based industry…at least it should be.