Editorials

Islanders Josh Bailey Leads The League in Shooting Percentage

By Matt O'Leary
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders heads out for warm-ups prior to the game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 28, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders heads out for warm-ups prior to the game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 28, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Josh Bailey leads the entire NHL in shooting percentage. The New York Islanders have found an effective shooter in Bailey.

When you think of the league’s best shooters, Josh Bailey isn’t someone who comes to mind. Bailey is an effective player for the New York Islanders, he is a good setup guy, and someone that just about every team would want in their top-six, but an elite shooter isn’t something people think of when they hear his name.

Well, what if I told you that he leads the league in shooting percentage. Yes, for players who have played in 10 or more games this year, Josh Bailey leads the entire league in shooting percentage with 30 percent.

He has six goals on 20 shots, which in 18 games that’s a fairly productive goal total for him. His career-high in goals is 18, and he’s currently on a 27 goal pace. In all likelihood 27 is probably a stretch but 20 goals seems to be in the cards for Bailey this season.

Only 20 shots in 18 games isn’t a lot, it’s a pace of 91 shots which would be his lowest total since his rookie season (excluding the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season).

Right now, Josh Bailey is taking Barry Trotz’s quality over quantity to heart. If you look at some of his goals this year, it’s easy to see that he isn’t shooting the puck unless he has a great look.

A one-timer when the goalie is moving from left to right is the perfect example of quality. It was a high percentage scoring chance for Josh Bailey in that spot, with Andrei Vasilevskiy moving from one side to the other, he had half the net to shoot at and Vasilevskiy would have to make an unbelievable play to stop it.

This next goal is another great example of Barry Trotz’s theory working perfectly. The Isles had essentially a 3-on-2 and from the slot area, Josh Bailey is able to roof one glove side.

It’s the perfect shot selection for Bailey in this spot as Sean Montembeault comes out to challenge the shot, Bailey just takes high-glove as if to say, thank you very much and he buries home the goal on a beauty of a shot.

Sometimes, it isn’t about the volume of shots you’re able to get off. It’s about capitalizing on the few opportunities that you do get game in and game out.

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While many have said that the Isles top-six is a little on the weak side, me included, it makes things a lot easier on Barry Trotz and the Islanders if they somehow found a 20 goal scorer in Josh Bailey at age 30.

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