New York Islanders: Josh Bailey starting to find his stride
November 22, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal scored against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After racking up three points on Monday against the Maple Leafs, New York Islanders’ Josh Bailey may have finally found his place.

If you go to a New York Islanders game, there is a very good chance you will hear fans jeering at Josh Bailey. Bailey, who was selected ninth overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has shown signs of why the Isles took him, but had spent most of his career as a second or third liner.

Bailey has shown sweet hands and also an inexplicable ability of missing great scoring chances from point blank range. He has never surpassed 15 goals in a season (in 2014-15), or 41 points in a season (also in 14-15).

This season looked to be more of the same for Bailey, who got off to a nice solid start, recording 13 points in the teams first 22 games.

But when Bailey got placed on superstar John Tavares’ wing in December, Bailey has come alive, recording 25 points since the start of December.


The coaching change seems to also be helping Bailey, he has nine points in nine games under Doug Weight, Bailey has looked as good as he ever has in an Islanders uniform.

But what is shocking people most is him scoring goals in very clutch moments. He tied the score with late goals in each of the Islanders last two games. His power-play goal against the Canadiens with four minutes to go gave the Islanders a comfortable 3-1 lead.

Bailey is becoming a more household name for the Islanders on the scoresheet, which has been long overdue. He is second on the team in scoring with 38 points and first in assists with 27.

Bailey, believe it or not, is one of the more successful players from his draft class. He ranks seventh in career goals, eighth in assists, sixth in points and third in games played.

In a draft with superstars like Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty, Steven Stamkos, and Braden Holtby, you can’t expect Bailey to top superstars like that, but he’s not too bad.

The Islanders trail the Flyers by three points for the final playoff spot in the East. Their matchup on Thursday night is the biggest of the Islanders season, and Bailey will need to continue to play his game in order for them to win.

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