New York Islanders: Ho-Sang Should Be Tavares’ Temporary Winger
By Kate Eliou
With all-star Josh Bailey still injured, the New York Islanders have to find a suitable replacement for him on John Tavares’ right wing.
When forward Josh Bailey left in the middle of the first period in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 5, New York Islanders fans were reasonably concerned. Over this season and last, Bailey had transformed into the winger that everyone had hoped he’d become, even earning his all-star status in 2018. Losing him indefinitely would be a huge blow to an offensively reliant team.
Josh Bailey has yet to return since then. Although his injury came just before the NHL’s mandatory bye week, only causing him to miss three games so far, the Islanders seem to be floundering for a worthy replacement.
For the past three games, Alan Quine has been enlisted to fill Josh Bailey’s place even though he seems like the player least qualified to play on the captain’s wing. With only 2 points on the season and 0 goals, it should be questioned whether Quine should be on an NHL team at all, never mind playing alongside a superstar.
Quine also has incredibly low corsi numbers, with CF% of 38.2 on the season. Although he has played a very minimal amount of games, there is no justification for him filling Josh Bailey’s spot on the first line. So, who should be on John Tavares’ wing while the team’s second all-star is sidelined?
Josh Ho-Sang Is The Answer
In the team’s time of need, the New York Islanders have been very hesitant in recalling young forward, Josh Ho-Sang, from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, calling up lesser-known prospects like Tanner Fritz instead. Claims of poor attitude and defensive turnovers have plagued 66 and even managed to get him benched in the AHL.
However, these narratives should not be stopping the New York Islanders from putting Josh Ho-Sang on John Tavares’ wing in Josh Bailey’s absence. Going from being an AHL scratch to a first line winger in the NHL would seem like a large leap if we hadn’t already seen what the young forward could do.
In 22 NHL games this season in between trips to Bridgeport, Ho-Sang was able to notch 12 points, 10 of which were assists. He was able to produce on a currently abysmal third line while improving the play of Brock Nelson, who has not scored a regulation goal in 47 periods of hockey.
While his defensive play was initially a concern, his turnovers are not unlike those of Anthony Beauvillier who has seen great improvement since his return from the Sound Tigers, making it no excuse.
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It’s clear to see that Josh Ho-Sang would be an upgrade from Alan Quine in every way and would be a great help alongside Nelson on the third line even after Josh Bailey’s return. The bottom line is that Josh Ho-Sang should be playing in the NHL.