The New York Islanders have been toying with Josh Ho-Sang for the better part of three seasons. Ironically enough, they’re much better with him in the lineup.
Josh Ho-Sang and the New York Islanders have a very complicated relationship. It all dates back to his first camp when his alarm didn’t go off and he was late to practice and ended up being sent back to his OHL team after running the Coliseum steps.
Ho-Sang ended up getting his shot at the NHL level in 2016-2017, playing in the Islanders final 21 games. He was fairly good, scoring 10 points and almost helping the Isles go into the playoffs.
It was assumed he’d be a regular part of their lineup going further. That was far from the truth. After a 22 game stint with the big club, he got the boot for the AHL because the Islanders blamed their defensive struggles on the 21-year old forward.
This year, a hot start in the AHL, 22 points in 26 games, yielded a call up when the Islanders eventually began to lack some depth at the forward position. He’s played two games and has been held pointless thus far, but an interesting stat came out after last night’s win.
Since 2016-2017, the Islanders are a far superior team with Josh Ho-Sang in the lineup than without him. Arthur Staple had the numbers and with Ho-Sang in the lineup the Islanders are 26-15-4. Without Ho-Sang they are 66-63-22.
Isn’t it ironic that his old jersey number, which caused so much controversy, is the number of wins the Islanders have without him since the start of the 2016 season?
It’s really not that complicated. Some will toss it up to luck, while others will look for analytic answers to the question of what makes this team click with Ho-Sang in the lineup. The answer is simple, the more good players you have the better you are.
Ho-Sang is a darn good hockey player, his offensive skill set and speed is an important tool for the Isles lineup. With the veteran presence of Val Filppula, Leo Komarov, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Andrew Ladd when he’s healthy, the Isles lacked speed.
Ho-Sang has proved to be a good hockey player at the NHL level. It’s time for the Islanders to start realizing it too.