New York Islanders: Josh Bailey Back On Top Line
By Matt O'Leary
Just 10 games into the season the New York Islanders are already shuffling up the lines. Here’s what the new look top line looked like at practice yesterday.
Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle straight up is such a steal for the New York Islanders. Strome really had regressed over the past two years and to be able to flip that for a bonified scorer is an amazing move for Garth Snow.
He was brought in here to be the winger that John Tavares has needed for the past almost decade. Although, after 10 games it looks like the Islanders have already given up on that idea, at least for now.
In practice yesterday Josh Bailey was back on the top line like he was last year, while Eberle was on the second unit.
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Last year the Islanders had an underrated top line with Lee – Tavares – Bailey. All three guys had over 50 points on the season, with Lee leading the way with 34 goals. Even with the Isles struggling, I’m not excited about the top line from last year reuniting.
Abandoning the plan, and moving Eberle to the second line with Nelson and Barzal is a panic move. Eberle has yet to find the back of the net, but he’s still been productive with both Lee and Tavares.
He’s on pace for 49 points with his six assists through 10 games. Once he starts to score, which based on his career shooting percentage you’d believe it to be soon, expect that pace to go well over 50 points.
Granted, Bailey’s had an impressive start with 10 points, it still makes more sense to keep him in a middle six role. He’s proven so far this year that he can still give you production without playing with Tavares.
This is worse than when the Isles gave up on Andrew Ladd last year so fast. At least Eberle is putting up points, Ladd was giving the Islanders nothing at the start of the season.
Next: Ho-Sang Scores On First Shift Back
The longer this season goes on the more Doug Weight begins to resemble Jack Capuano. Islanders fans know how much of a problem that could be. I’d like 2016-2017 Dougie back please, with some Josh Ho-Sang and Ryan Pulock on the side.