Josh Ho-Sang

Episode 29: The Potential To Clinch

It’s stretch time, the most exciting time of the year if your team is still in the mix – and the Islanders are very much in that mix.

There’s a lot of different scenarios that can play out over the next few games, but one is the most important part. The New York Islanders can secure their bid into the playoffs with a win tonight over the Buffalo Sabres. That’s all that matters right now.

Seeding, opponent – none of that matters at this very second.

I will be in attendance tonight at the Barn, as well as on Monday – but until then Episode 29 touches on all of the games over the last week, we take some Twitter questions and go into a little bit of detail on some other fun topics.

Give it a listen and enjoy it tonight on your way to the game or if you plan to tailgate on this beautiful afternoon.

Win tonight, build upon in and try to secure home ice, or even the division title later next week as the season wraps up.

Episode 28: No Time To Let Up With Arthur Staple

Ten games, eleven points – that’s all that’s separating the New York Islanders from reaching their first playoff birth in three seasons. But, let’s not forget that they’re not supposed to even be where they are – by all accounts right?

Don’t tell that to Barry Trotz and company though, as the coach and his staff have their team playing sound defensive hockey.

Episode 28 features the return of one of my favorite guests in Arthur Staple now of The Athletic New York. We talk about a variety of topics, from the showing signs of life power play, to line combinations, coaching strength and experience down to what to expect down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Arthur and I also talk about the fantastic goaltending performances of both Thomas Greiss (the NHL’s first star this week) and Robin Lehner.

If you missed it, Arthur had a fantastic article yesterday in The Athletic talking about Mat Barzal and how he is coming into his own as a player – forgoing the personal accolades for the sake of winning. We happen to talk about some of this as well, including Barzal’s slight struggles in his sophomore season.

If that’s not enough, we go into detail on the line combinations and what the team needs to do come playoff time to make the most of their opportunity.

To keep up with tradition for Art, he gives us his self admitted horrible take on where the Islanders will finish and who they are likely to face – so I hope you guys enjoy it.

The show will be on hiatus however, for a week as I will be headed down to sunny Florida for a few days. I’ll be active on Twitter as always so please head there to join the conversation.

Follow me on Twitter: @islesblogger and @faithfulisles – but don’t forget to follow Art, too @stapeathletic

Catch up with you all next week!

Episode 27: Off The Post With Brett Cyrgalis

Episode 27, it’s kind of fitting that we are going to exit the 20’s of the podcast as we move down the stretch into the playoff hunt. It’s been an exciting year with a lot of great guests so far and that continues this episode with Brett Cyrgalis of The New York Post.

Brett recently announced that he’s the full time beat writer covering the New York Islanders for the remainder of the season and I wanted to have him on to talk some hockey.

Many of you guys out there tend to hammer him from time to time, but I’m here to announce that he’s not an Islanders or Rangers fan, so you can stand down.

Brett and I talk about what Lou lamoniello and Barry Trotz bring to the Islanders as an organization, we talked about pending unrestricted free agents Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, and Anders Lee (He wrote about his contract situation today actually, give it a read).

We also talk about the sudden adversity that the Islanders face with illness and injuries and what that can mean for the team down the stretch drive to the playoffs. The Metropolitan division is so tight that anything can have a negative effect on the team, so it’s so important to take every point they can earn.

As far as injuries, we talk about Cal Clutterbuck and how there’s a need for some concern over Robin Lehner’s perceived concussion as it relates to his diagnosed anxiety and mental health issues. Obviously, as we saw with Kyle Okposo – concussions can do crazy things to mental health, and theres a real fear there for Lehner. But we’re going to take that one day at a time, just like the Islanders.

Special thanks to Brett again for coming on! Please give him a follow on Twitter @brettcyrgalis and head on over to the New York Post to read all his great Islanders coverage as well.

If you’ve been listening and enjoying the content, please head over to iTunes and give us a rate and a review? Show us the love! Please also follow me on Twitter @islesblogger and @faithfulisles.

Lastly, subscribe to the show by clicking here. If you’re not subscribing on Youtube – do that as well!

Episode 19: Just One Shot With JPinVA

Hello and welcome Episode 19! This week I am joined by a co-host from Twitter @JPinVA – JP and I have gone back and forth with some spirited Islanders discussions over the last few months and it’s been some good talk. I wanted to have him on for several episodes now and we finally found a time that worked for both of us.

We discuss the winning streak the Islanders ended with a loss last week against Carolina, the struggle they had against St Louis and the Rangers, despite stealing wins in regulation and the play of the kids Ho-Sang, Toews and Dal Colle. We also go into some talk on what to do with Eberle, Lehner, Nelson and some other pending UFA’s and it Lou will do anything with trades down the stretch to the trade deadline. As the title suggests as well, we also reference the one shot/one goal from the game against the Rangers on Thursday and what it will take to play their best tomorrow against Tampa.

We also take some off your Twitter questions, speak in detail about what can help the power play, how Barry Trotz has transformed players like Barzal, Nelson and the defense in general into something we’ve not seen in ages. I also hint at an upcoming guest, and congratulate the Isles Meetup guys for the creation of their own website NYIMeetups.com – head on over there to check it out!

We will be back with Episode 20 either Monday or Tuesday! Stay tuned!

Episode 18: Barzal And Isles Going Streaking!

Happy New Year Isles Faithful! I hope that everyone had a fantastic holiday break!

I know that I was extremely busy, I’ve been off since the Friday before Christmas, we did a lot of visiting and being visited by family. I also ate a ton of great food, maybe a little TOO much. I am certainly paying for that in the waist department -but back on that diet saddle we go.

For the first episode of 2019, I talk about the Islanders 8-1 stretch of games and discuss their five game winning streak. We catch up on how the kids are doing (Ho Sang, Dal Cole and Toews), the goaltending being off the charts (Lehner is 2.13 GAA and .929 SV%) and also the special teams starting to come around. Is there something or someone I am forgetting about? Oh yea, “The Kid Who Scores Hatty’s” – Mat Barzal.

Barzal is on a bit of a tear currently, with 8 goals 4 assists for 12 points in 9 games. During that span that, he is also a +5 and has amassed 34 shots, including 8 last night, 5 against Toronto and 7 back on 12/15 against Detroit, He’s really taken Barry Trotz’s criticism and critiquing to heart it seems. Am I still forgetting something? Oh that’s right – his natural hat trick against Tavares and the Maple Leafs. It was a sight to be seen, that 4-0 shutout masterpiece.

Devon Toews has looked like an absolute bright spot on the back end, including his overtime heroics last night against the Chicago Blackhawks! He picked a heck of a time to score his first NHL goal, it’s going to be one he’s not going to forget anytime soon. The Isles are 5-0 with him (and Baby Stape, Congrats Art!) in the lineup, the Isles are also 8-1 with Josh Ho Sang in the lineup as well – two young guys who have really done great things for the make up of this squad.

Also in this episode we take some of your Twitter questions again, discussing what – if anything Lou Lamoriello will do down the stretch with trades and contract offerings to his pending unrestricted and restricted free agents. Off topic, I also discuss my recent purchase of Bauer Supreme 2s ice hockey skates as I have been shopping around since my MLX skates broke last month, special thanks go out to Bauer here for steering me in the right direction!

I’d also keep an eye out for an EXCITING announcement on another Yes Men Outfittersf contest! We’re kicking of 2019 in style and you’ll have your choice of any hat or t-shirt on his site. In the meantime please continue to use the discount code FAITHFUL10 on your orders over there for 10% off! Be sure to follow Devin on Twitter as well @yesmenoutfitter

Thanks for listening and we will see you in Episode 19!

Episode 17: With Barzal, Ho-Sang and Toews, The Future Is Now!

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.

My example of a GREAT power play

Ive 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!

A bold statement, right?

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!