New York Islanders: Josh Ho-Sang Has To Make This Team
By Matt O'Leary
The New York Islanders are considered by many to have a hole in the top-six. Josh Ho-Sang could be the piece the Isles are missing.
Josh Ho-Sang is a name that causes a reaction. New York Islanders fans either seem to love the kid or want him shipped away, there’s very few in between. Through a couple of pre-season games, JHS has looked solid.
Last night, the Islanders took on the Detroit Red Wings. After falling behind early in this game, the Isles came back and were able to take the win in overtime.
On the goal that gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead, Josh Ho-Sang was able to do something that very few guys on the Isles can do. There were literally four Red Wings defenders surrounding Josh Ho-Sang.
Outside of Mathew Barzal, is there really anyone who draws that much attention? Yes, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Brock Nelson are all goal scorers but they don’t carry the puck the way that JHS can.
So Ho-Sang draws four defenders around him and feeds Arnaud Durandeau who then tosses it over to Derick Brassard who has a wide-open net to put the puck in.
Ho-Sang could provide one of two things for the Islanders. A right-handed shot in the top-six, likely bumping Anthony Beauvillier down to the third line or an offensive mind to a third line that features Brassard and Leo Komarov.
During a previous broadcast, the Isles put up a graphic displaying who has a chance to make this team on the third line and Josh Ho-Sang’s name didn’t make the list. Heck, even Andrew Ladd who is on IR is someone who made this list.
There are certainly some flaws to his game. He isn’t fantastic defensively and has been known to sleep a little bit without the puck, but you live with that when you have one of the better defensive teams outside of that one player.
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If, and it could be a big if, he continues at the pace he’s on this preseason and has no complete mental lapses in the defensive zone he has to make this team and play. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of if the Isles want to use it.