Rosner: Islanders Hudson Fasching is the Real Deal
In the span of nine games, New York Islanders forward Hudson Fasching went from a no-name to a household name.
Believed to be a career AHLer with just 36 NHL games under his belt from 2015 to 2022 split between the Buffalo Sabers and Arizona Coyotes, the Islanders brought in Hudson Fasching as a depth option last summer.
Fasching had played in 280 AHL games during that span and had just finished a season with 14 goals and 23 assists for the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate), serving as their captain. With the influx of young talent in Bridgeport, Fasching seemed like a good fit to help those youngsters.
Fasching was a fringe NHLer at best, but was more likely a career AHLer.
But as they say, the third team is a charm, and he got his chance to prove he belonged in the NHL when the Islanders began dealing with the injury in early December.
The Islanders needed some bodies after Fasching, along with Cole Bardreau, retired on Dec. 1, with the Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello explaining during his press conference why two AHL veterans were retired instead of young prospects.
“Well, first of all, they’re positional memories,” Lamoriello said that morning.
Lamoriello said the two call-ups have played well, but went back to the fact that, given the lineup’s absences, they needed some bottom-six players.
When Fasching was first recalled, he skated on the third line with Zach Parise and Jean-Gabriel Pageau and on the fourth line with Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas.
But it quickly became clear that Fasching was more suited to the fourth line. With the emergence of Simon Holmstrom as the Islanders’ third-line right wing, Fasching continued to play in place of Cal Clutterbuck until Clutterbuck returned to the lineup, only to depart shortly thereafter.
When given a chance, Fasching just played his game and scored two goals in eight games in the process.
Fasching’s first goal with New York came in his second game with New York via a brilliant deflection, but his second goal in white and orange was a highlight.
In a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Dec. 17, Fasching got around senior defenseman Alex Pietrangelo before slotting the puck in front of Logan Thompson’s net for the eventual game-winning goal:
Just give it to Fasching and let it do the work😤
Isles lead 2-1 pic.twitter.com/YQZOW8JKaq
— Isles at MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) December 18, 2022
Tuesday night, with an early injury forward Oliver WahlstromLambert swapped wings alongside Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey before settling in with Fasching on that line.
And the trio of Bailey, Barzal and Fasching made magic in the New York Islanders’ 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In 3:51 minutes, that streak outscored the Penguins 5-0 and put them up 2-0, for The Natural Statistics Trick.
Fasching had the lead assist on Barzal’s first goal of the night, as his shot deflected off Barzal’s stick and past Tristan Jarry.
Barzal with the perfect tip is his 6th of the season and sets it up #Islands until 2-1 pic.twitter.com/mfHjt4onKd
— Isles at MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) December 28, 2022
Barzal’s second goal of the night was unassisted after two Penguins players touched the ball, but it was hard work by Fasching in-tight that led directly to the goal.
Fasching buzzing and creating and hockey puck comes to Barzal who buries it in the toy department!! pic.twitter.com/wRiXFyPv2K
— Isles at MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) December 28, 2022
Fasching fits well with Barzal and has adapted everywhere Lambert has played him, which just goes to show that he’s the real deal.
Following the game, Barzal talked about playing with Fasching and what he brings to the table.
“I thought he was physical, winning battles,” Barzal said. “He’s got a good head for the game, so [he’s] easy to play with.”
Tuesday night was Fasching’s first game that high in the lineup, and he gave his coach exactly what he was looking for when he was a good player.
“He played well. He is contributing to the attack. He plays his part. He’s going up and down, and he’s a big guy who gets to the net,” Lambert said. “He’s doing what he needs to do and he’s doing what he needs to do to help our hockey team and he has a good job.”
When Fasching is ready for Thursday’s contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, it will be his 10th game at the NHL level this season, meaning he is no longer exempt from waivers.
It will be interesting to see what Lamoriello and Lambert decide to do when the injured sides return because, given Fasching’s play, he is not a player that can be taken out of the lineup right now.
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