The New York Islanders power play was terrible in 2018-19 with a 14.5 percent efficiency. The answer to their woes isn’t Josh Ho-Sang.
The worst part of the New York Islanders 2018-19 season was without question the power play. At a 14.5 percent efficiency, it was one of the worst in the league. If not for Montreal and Nashville, the Isles power play would have been the worst in the league.
Something needs to change. I often talk about how Josh Ho-Sang would have a positive impact on the Islanders if he ever got a shot. I certainly still maintain that. But when it comes to the power play Josh Ho-Sang wouldn’t necessarily be the answer for the Islanders 2018-19 woes.
Looking at the data, the Islanders were good at creating chances and getting pucks towards the net. What they weren’t good at was converting those chances into goals. Something Josh Ho-Sang isn’t particularly great at.
Already Creating Shots
Thinking about the type of player that Josh Ho-Sang is, it’s easy to see why adding him to the power play could have a positive impact. He controls the puck well and creates opportunities for his teammates.
In trying to dissect the Islanders power play from last season I put a lot of emphasis on players taking way too long with the puck. The Isles just didn’t seem confident they knew where their teammates were supposed to be. That indecision was, in my mind a huge reason why pucks just weren’t getting towards the opposition’s net on the power play.
A player like Josh Ho-Sang can come in and open up seems to feed teammates who can get pucks on and in the net. But some of the Islanders underlying numbers show that they didn’t have problems getting the puck towards the net. They had an issue in converting those chances.
According to NaturalStatTrick, the New York Islanders power play finished tenth in shots on goals for, they finished ninth in Fenwick for (measures shots on goals and missed shots), they finished tenth in expected goals for, and they finished sixth in high-danger chances for.
The Islanders didn’t have an issue with getting pucks towards the net, they had an issue in converting those shots into goals. Again, they finished tenth in expected goals for with 46.47. They actually scored 33 goals on the power. Severely underperforming what was expected.
That’s where the change needs to happen. Converting those chances.
If Josh Ho-Sang is going to play in the NHL he should absolutely have a role on the power play. But I shouldn’t expect him to turn it around. Players like Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal, and Anthony Beauvillier with their combined six power-play goals need to step up in 2019-20.
Barzal scored three goals on 39 shots for a 7.69 shooting percentage, Brock converted twice on 39 shots (5.36%), and Beauvillier scored once on 21 shots (4.37%). All three should be performing better on the man advantage based on the number of shots they took.
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I thought the key for the New York Islanders power play to improve in 2019-20 was going to be more puck movement and certainly more shots towards the net. And to me, Josh Ho-Sang was going to be able to give that kick.
Looking at the data I’m sure he can help, but becoming more efficient on the power play will be incumbent on some of the Islanders goal scorers being able to convert the chances they get. Josh Ho-Sang is a great player to set up plays, but we all know he’s not a shoot-first type of guy.