The New York Islanders are 4-0-2 in the pre-season. Two games remain on the schedule. The prospects have two exhibition games remaining in the pre-season schedule in which to make their mark. Throughout the pre-season schedule the Islanders youth has made their mark. As a result of their investment in youth, the Islanders look like a new team. Seemingly Joshua Ho-Sang and Mathew Barzal have earned a spot on the active roster. The Islanders will have some tough calls to make to trim to that number to the required 23 men. This must be complete before the October, 6 season opener against division rival Columbus Blue Jackets.
New York Islanders Youth Shines in Pre-Season
Barzal and Ho-Sang make a name for themselves in the preseason
Ho-Sang and Barzal come into camp on a mission to make the opening roster. Both forwards have shown the skills to earn a spot. Because of the effort put forth during the pre-season games, both lit the lamp in a spectacular fashion. Ho-Sang returns to the Islanders as a mature team player. This was evident in his assist to Brock Nelson‘s goal against the New Jersey Devils. That said, his game is not without issue. Furthermore, he is sometimes caught out of position, rushing back to play defence. However, his offensive talents seem to outweigh those concerns. Because of this and other factors, head coach Doug Weight recently said that he would sit veterans if the youngsters are outplaying them. In this environment, Ho-Sang is playing like a man possessed. If the recent line including Nelson and Ho-Sang is any indication, some vets days may be numbered.
In the same game Barzal, assisted by John Tavares uses his impressive speed and puck handling to wheel up the boards through the defence to score a highlight reel power play goal. Weight indicates that Barzal has done enough to stay on the roster. Consequently, with the power play unit finishing a paltry 28th in the NHL in 2016, moments like these could put the Islanders back in the playoff hunt. As result of plays like that the new look Islanders are a fast, slick team that looks to put up a lot of goals in 2017.
Ryan Pulock Breaks Through Again
Defenseman Ryan Pulock performed what is quickly becoming an annual tradition. This is due to his recent shattering of the glass during the Islanders training camp with his cannon shot. He definitely makes a name for himself. He first accomplished this feat in 2016 and continues it this camp.
The Islanders need to focus on youth this season, due to the number of youngsters on the roster. The defense and special teams they will look to Pulock and his booming shot to add some much-needed firepower to the power play unit this season. Doug Weight has already stated via a conference call, that Pulock’s shot is a weapon. Take a look at the evidence.
The Islanders domination of the New Jersey Devils in their recent pre-season match-up was clinical in its efficiency and speed. The game featured goals shown in the clip above, as well as a phenomenal performance in goal by Thomas Greiss. It seems that the Islanders rookies and goalie issues that we covered in earlier articles are starting to come together.