It was a frustrating season for Mr. Bailey from the fan’s perspective. The Islanders pick in the first round of the 2008 draft started the season on fire, but then was injured and ended up spending a brief time back in Bridgeport.
In total, Josh played 70 games, and picked up 11 goals and 17 assists over that time. He switched from playing the wing to centering a few times throughout the season, and after his stint at the Port, he began to turn his season around. In particular, he found chemistry with Blake Comeau, and ended up having a very strong second half.
Josh is simply one of those guys you find yourself pulling for. He has a great personality and a great attitude. Sometimes, character is a term often over used in hockey, but Josh Bailey possesses the type of character that makes him a great guy to have on a team. Not once did he complain, and even when he was sent down to the Port, he seemed to take that in stride and used it as a way to help him turn his season around. He just has a great attitude for the game, as well as being great around the fans and for the organization.
When Josh has his A-game on, he is a dynamic and explosive player. I can recall many times in which Blake Comeau and he demonstrated so much skill and hard work to earn goals. He can pass the puck so well, and though he doesn’t do it enough, he also has an impressive shot. On the power play, at even strength or killing penalties, Bailey played any role for the Islanders asked of him and did it well.
Overall, I would give Josh a B. I think his second half showed great improvement and turned things around for him quite a bit. I really didn’t know how in the world things would go for him at the time he was sent down, but that might have been one of the best things that could have happened to him. Since he made the team right after his drafting, sometimes, a little “humbling” can go a long way for a young player.
What the Isles need, though, is a lot more from Josh. He certainly possesses the talent, but we need to see that for a full season. To me, 20 plus goals and 50 plus points is not unrealistic to expect from Josh Bailey. Just as Blake Comeau had a break out season this year, I believe Bailey could be in for the same thing in 2011-12.
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