How Josh Bailey went from one of the most hated New York Islanders to most loved is a story for the ages. The legend of Josh Bailey continues to grow.
The year was 2015-2016, Josh Bailey had a regression of a season with just 32 points and was a nonfactor in the playoffs. This was peak Josh Bailey hatred time from New York Islanders fans.
At age 26 you would think a former top-10 pick would be able to figure it out and be in the middle of his prime, instead Bailey put up one of his worst career seasons and was public enemy number one to most Islander fans.
That all changed in 2016-2017. While the Islanders started kind of slow, Josh Bailey was their best forward for the beginning of that season. He ended up with a then-career-high of 56 points (13 goals, 43 assists).
That was the season things began to change. To me, Bailey wasn’t a bust anymore. It took until age 27 but he finally figured it out and I was intrigued to see what he would do the following season.
2017-2018 was the coming out party for most Islanders offensively. Josh Bailey doubled down on his career years and put up an impressive 71 points (18 goals, 53 assists) in 76 games. For a majority of the season, he was a point per game player.
By this point, very few Islander fans, unless those with a personal agenda, were still negative on Josh. When John Tavares left the narrative was that Bailey would go back to being a 40 point player.
He started strong, and then slowed down, but ultimately finished with 56 points. His third straight year eclipsing the 50 point mark.
Despite a solid season stats wise, some returned to the Bailey bashing because of his cold streak towards the end of the regular season. That has since gone away with his playoff heroics.
In Game 1, Bailey scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Last night, he followed that up with an impressive goal to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead. With two goals in two games, the legend of Bailey grows and everyone seems to be back on his side.
Just listen to the crowd serenade him:
The same thing happened last night after his clutch goal to put Game 2 on ice. So far the Islanders have been the better team in this series and a large part of it is the depth scoring coming from Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey.
The Josh Bailey hate should, keyword being should, finally come to an end. He’s the longest-tenured Islander and has been everything you could ask out of a player the last three years. It took 11 years but Josh Bailey may have finally won over the entire fanbase.