New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert has about the inner competition that exists amongst the forwards being healthy for the team. Thus far, that competition is amongst four players for two spots any given night, starting on the third line with JG Pageau.
Last year's best feel-good story, Hudson Fasching began the year on that line, but after a so-so start has been a healthy scratch each of the last five games as Oliver Wahlstrom and Simon Holmstrom have been give the most recent opportunities there. Free-agent signing, speedy Julian Gauthier, has appeared in just one game this season.
He signed a two-year one-way contract that was announced at the end of the season. To have that type of security at this stage of his career was huge for the 28-year-old, but he knows now and knew at the time, that this season would be about showing that he can stick.
Despite some early season adversity, he has kept a positive attitude and outlook waiting for next opportunity to show that he can produce as he did last season.
“I think for me it’s just stay the course,” Fasching told The NY Post. “Keep working hard in practice. That’s kind of just the message. I think it’s kind of part of the deal. Got a lot of good players on this team. Everybody’s gonna take their turn out."
“For me it’s just trying to have a good attitude about it. Obviously you want to be playing, but you want to be a good teammate, and you gotta come to the rink with a positive attitude.”
After bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL for several seasons, Fasching signed with the Isles last August as organizational depth. When injuries struck in December, he was called-up and never went back down, scoring 10 goals, some of the clutch variety in 49 games.
He was an integral part of the team's playoff push and started on Pageau's line alongside Zach Parise in each of the six playoff games against the Carolina Hurricanes and had several scoring chances throughout the series that the Isles lost in six games.