Islanders: How Josh Bailey Has Helped Mathew Barzal
By Matt O'Leary
How New York Islanders veteran, Josh Bailey, has been able to help youngster Mathew Barzal on and off the ice.
This year, Josh Bailey passed his 800th career NHL game all with the New York Islanders. While reflecting on his 800 games in the league, Bailey cites that as he gets older, he tries to remain more even-keeled.
“I think as you get older, the highs don’t seem as high and the lows don’t seem as low,” Bailey said. “You just try to take it one game at a time and one day at a time. It’s a long season so I think you realize you just have to stay tempered and take each day as it comes. The best thing you can do for yourself is to just stay even keel and focus on what you can control.”
It’s worked for Bailey, as he’s been an extremely effective player for the Islanders the last four seasons. Bailey isn’t the only one who has noticed that he’s more level headed now that he’s older. 22-year-old Mathew Barzal has picked up on it too.
In the past, Barzal has got “wound up” on the ice and a little heated. Bailey, who has played on his line a fair amount, is usually the one to calm him down.
That’s a guy you want in the locker room. I know that sounds super cliche but it’s true, Bailey is a veteran who has been there and done that and can help the younger guys along. The best part is he’s still extremely productive, and not over the hill like some of the free-agent veterans the Islanders have found.
Bailey has 15 points in 24 games and is on pace for a career-high of 24 goals. How he’s played the last 264 games erases how inconsistent he was through the first 557. The Islanders need Josh Bailey.
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