With an overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Islanders keep themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
It was touch and go for the New York Islanders Monday night. With some sloppy defense and goaltending that just couldn’t pick up all the slack, the team depended on overtime – and Brock Nelson to pull out a win.
It’s Time to Leave Bailey Be
Josh Bailey has been the bane of many Islanders fans’ existence since the day he was drafted. He came to a starved fanbase as a ninth overall pick with expectations placed on his shoulders that are usually saved for kids chosen in the top three.
He was rushed and mishandled. Not to mention, he played the majority of his years under Jack Capuano.
New York Islanders
Bailey has been the brunt of bitterness for years despite solid play as a two way forward. He’s taken the fan frustration for management’s inability to fill the top line with elite talent befitting John Tavares.
Bailey has shown up this season and played every game with more passion than many on the team. He’s earned the letter on his sweater a whole heck of a lot more than Andrew Ladd and has flourished in that leadership role.
With a goal and two assists against the Leafs, he brings his total to 38 points – tied for his career high. There’s still a lot of hockey left for him to play this season.
The Bright Sides of Strome and Nelson
I’ll always give credit where credit is due. Nelson had a pretty sweet game against the Maple Leafs. The Islanders have needed him and he came through in a big way. He showed a consistency that generally hasn’t been there through a majority of games this season.
Little by little it seems like Ryan Strome is rediscovering himself. He’s skating and shooting the puck, but more than that, he’s not giving up on the play. Following up his own shot, he got the Isles on the board first and early. He’s got seven points in four games and the Islanders desperately need this to be the Strome that shows up nightly.
Finally One in OT
It’s almost as if the Tampa Bay Lightning put a whammy on the Islanders overtime success. Ever since last season’s playoff OT losses to the Bolts, the Isles have floundered in overtime. Sure Bailey single-handedly pulled one out against the Ducks earlier in October, but this team has 10 overtime/shootout losses.
Ten. That’s ten pretty huge points when we consider the Islanders consider themselves still in a playoff hunt. Questionable lineup choices have riddled the team’s outcomes in the extra stanza, but someone – Nelson – took this game into his own hands.
It’s a good thing someone finally did.