Beauvillier, Ho-Sang Leading Isles to Playoffs
With nine games remaining in the regular season for the New York Islanders they currently hold the last wild card spot in the East with a game in hand on the next best team, the Boston Bruins. The Islanders return back to playoff contention started on January 17th when former Islanders’ Head Coach Jack Capuano was axed for Assistant GM and Assistant Coach, Doug Weight.
The next burst of momentum towards the playoffs came on trade deadline day, but not by means of a trade. General Manger Garth Snow recalled 21 year-old prospect, Josh Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang’s reputation was a confident, and maybe sometimes cocky kid, with all of the offensive talent in the world. Now 12 games into his NHL career he is playing on the second line and propelling the Islanders into the playoffs with 7 points in his last 7 games.
Ho-Sang in particular has found magic with another Islanders rookie, Anthony Beauvillier. Beauvillier, 19, was a dark horse candidate to make the Islanders roster back in September but now in the late days of March he has cemented himself into the lineup.
On Wednesday against the Rangers, Ho-Sang and Beauvillier were placed together on the second line with Andres Lee. The two were no doubtably the best forwards on the ice at Madison Square Garden as the Islanders kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 victory. In that game Beauvillier recorded two assists and Josh Ho-Sang also recorded an assist.
Then on Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ho-Sang and Beauvillier both flashed their skills once more. First, Ho-Sang had a drop pass assist to Brock Nelson and then Beauvillier dangled Marc-Andre Fleury in the shootout.
What has made the duo so special is their style of play. First of all, the pair are lightning fast and without a doubt the Islander’s biggest breakaway threats. The two have a bagful of tricks that they use to deceive goalies with as they break in on goal. The other difference maker in their game is the tenacity that both players show. In the corners, when on the puck or not, the two display a determination unmatched by any other teammate.
The Islanders as an organization have been known to sometimes “overcook” their prospects, i.e. Ryan Strome, Ryan Pulock, Griffin Reinhart, Nino Niederreiter. This time however the Islanders are finally giving their prized possessions considerable NHL minutes and they are repaying them handsomely.
Tune in tonight as the Islanders look to take control of their playoff fate as they face off against the Boston Bruins at 7pm in Brooklyn.
(CoverPhoto by Al Bello/Getty Images)