This is it! This is the moment many of us have been waiting for!
Young stars, stud players if you will, are going to be flush in the New York Islanders lineup. Mat Barzal, the former rookie of the year has been a staple over and a breath of fresh air over the last year and a half has recently been joined by fellow puck possession wizard in Josh Ho-Sang. But wait, there’s more – Devon Toews has been recalled to replace the injured Thomas Hickey. Yes, you’re reading that right. We talk about all this and more, in Episode 17 – so read on.
I‘ve said pretty extensively on Twitter over the last few weeks, that I feel both Barzal and Ho-Sang are “drivers” in that they dictate pace of play with puck possession and zone entries. We know what we have in Barzal, and he’s come around in Trotz’s system as of late. With Ho-Sang, he’s struggled to elevate his play in a way to earn the trust of the new management – but he earned his chance now and he’s running with it. Trotz recently changed his tune from “no pressure to insert in lineup” to “I see no reason to take him out of the lineup” and that’s fantastic news. Ho-Sang was rewarded with a goal this week in Arizona for his efforts and if you look at his fancy stats – the numbers say he’s doing a great job. The second power play unit has also benefitted from his style of play – you have two guys (at even strength as well) that draw players to them and it opens up room for everyone else, plus they can both thread the needle like nobody else on the team, outside maybe Eberle.
With Thomas Hickey out with a suspected concussion (which is a shame, I love what Hickey brings and I hope he’s not injured too bad) – Devon Toews has been recalled. I joked in this episode that it’s a Christmas Miracle! Fans and experts alike have been waiting for this defenseman to draw into the lineup for quite some time – and you have this Tweet from Newsday’s Andrew Gross as a meter for how we ALL FEEL!
I also go into some more ranting about the mostly stationary, but improving power play, which involves mostly the adding of Ho-Sang and I took a few Twitter questions from the most faithful Isles Faithful listeners!
Holiday season reminders! Kings Coast Coffee – it’s amazing! Go buy some and use the code ISLES for 10% off your entire order. I just ordered $70 worth of coffee and mugs as a gift for my wife – good thing she doesn’t read this space.
That’s not the only DISCOUNT CODE we have for you either, head on over to my buddy Devin’s (@YesMenOutfitter) site Yes Men Outfitters for some sweet Isles swag and use the code FAITHFUL10 for 10% off your order as well. He’s got a lot of great new designs he’s pumping out – be sure to fill someone stocking, or even your own just like me!
I finally met Devin last weekend at the Coliseum, such a solid dude and he’s doing really great things with his trips and tailgates – I don’t know how he finds the time to do everything he does! I am off for Christmas and New Years (11 days total) so I am planning on recording a few times and maybe a recap of the best episodes so far, but if we don’t speak before then have a very safe and Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday!