“Lights…Camera…Action! (Roll the clip)”
On Friday December 28, 2018, the much maligned and talked about, Joshua Ho-Sang played in his sixth game of the season for the Islanders; recording one shot on goal, a blocked shot, a giveaway and a plus-one rating over the course of 19 shifts spanning 15:53 of ice time. By the way, the Isles won the game 6-3 to close out their home schedule for the calendar year of 2018.
“Every game is different,” said Ho-Sang. “I’m just trying to get better every game. I have to be smart with the puck and made good decisions.”
Hopefully, Ho-Sang’s 2019 will be more fruitful than his 2018. After all, Ho-Sang’s travails have been well chronicled by every reporter worth their weight. And for several seasons at that.
Initially drafted by the Islanders in the first-round (28th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, this Toronto, Ontario native has racked up the air miles over the past few years.
Starting with the 2016-17 campaign, Ho-Sang has been shuttled back and forth between the Big-League club and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL; never quite managing to stick in the NHL, yet showcasing more potential than most.
And unfortunately, this might not be his big break.
Ho-Sang was recalled at the start of December he told Newsday’s Andrew Gross, “I’m excited. I’m just looking forward to the chance to potentially play. Again, I’m here for backup.”
Well, due to injuries to several members of the Isles’ lineup, Ho-Sang’s stay has been extended; but it has only translated into a stat line consisting of a single goal.
During a summertime chat with “The Hockey Maven,” Stan Fischler, Coach Barry Trotz said:
“Josh has to be part of our future. He’s a talent who needs to be understood better than he has been. In this case, Lou will be good. My belief is that the kid has been misunderstood because he looks at the game differently. But his skills will fit into how we play. You’ve got to be patient with him and understand that he was frustrated in the past. Josh has talent and speed. Now we’ve got to have him make plays at the right time.”
For the most part, Trotz’s assessment still rings true. Ho-Sang is talented and his talent/speed combo is evident to anyone who watches him play. Yet, he still needs to improve his decision-making.
“Coach Trotz and I talk all the time,” said Ho-Sang. “We talk about a lot of stuff. It’s all designed to help me improve my game. But at the end of the day, I still need to be better.”
Baby steps for the uber-talented Ho-Sang; success will come in time. Right now, the mission is to play as a team and improve as a team. And I have a hunch that when he finally does lock down a roster spot of his own, he’s going to run with it and hold on to it for a long time.