Josh Ho-Sang continued to make an impact on Tuesday night, as he helped the Islanders back from the brick in their 3-2 come-from-behind win against the Hurricanes.
With just over a minute left in the second period and the Isles trailed 2-0, Nikolay Kulemin took a shot that was blocked in front. The puck redirected right onto Ho-Sang's stick blade in the near circle, and Ho-Sang whistled a wrister top shelf past Cam Ward to pull the Isles within one.
Then in overtime, Ho-Sang skated the puck through the neutral zone and into the Hurricanes' zone and executed a slick drop pass to John Tavares. With space, Tavares ripped a wrister past Ward to give the Isles a 3-2 victory.
"Watching him play, I was like, 'Geez, he's going to have a good career, but he's got to learn a lot of things,'" Doug Weight said of the rookie. "So, yeah, I am [surprised at his performance]. I don't think I'm astonished, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how fast he's come along […] I had him out there with three minutes left in a 2-2 game that's arguably our biggest of the year, so that's a pretty good sign."
The coaching staff has been encouraging Ho-Sang to shoot the puck more, and it was evident that he took that to heart on his goal. How many times have we seen players try to execute a cute little pass there, or hesitate to take the shot? Instead, Ho-Sang just rifled it as quickly as he could on net, and beat Ward for his third goal of the year. That's the kind of stuff I love to see, because sometimes it's not about stick handling or the sexy moves that make for great GIFs. Sometimes good hockey plays are just about getting the puck on net, and Ho-Sang was rewarded for doing so on that one.
But speaking of sexy plays, look at that drop pass by Ho-Sang again and just keep your eyes on him. Even after Ho-Sang has dropped the puck off to Tavares, he makes another deke and the Carolina defenders actually have to think for a split second about where the puck is. That little detail creates time and space for JT to get as much as he needed on the shot and pick a corner on Ward and get the game-winner. That's master class stuff, and certainly not something you see from a guy playing in his sixth NHL game.
We always knew there was sizzle in Ho-Sang's game, but there looks to be plenty of high quality steak to go along with it, and so far, he certainly looks like the real deal.