Islanders: If The Josh Bailey Slander Doesn’t Stop Now It Never Will
By Matt O'Leary
In nine playoff games, Josh Bailey has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) for the New York Islanders. If the hate can’t stop now it never will.
Admitting your wrong isn’t an easy thing. I hate doing it as much as most people, but it seems like a subsection of Islanders fans in particular really will do anything to prove that they weren’t wrong about Josh Bailey.
For the first eight years of Josh Bailey’s career, the criticism was 100% warranted, I was one of those critics. Bailey eclipsed 40 points just once and he left more to be desired as a former ninth overall pick from 2008.
Admittedly, Bailey was a frustrating player, but then 2016-2017 came. Bailey was fantastic as he put up 56 points for the Islanders in his age 27 season, after arguably his worst year in 2015-2016.
For me, I call it as I see it. Bailey was good that year. I was apprehensive about the one 56 point season, could he do it again?
Yep, he actually got even better. He put up 71 points in 76 games and scored a career-high of 18 goals for the Islanders. In February of 2018, he signed a six-year extension worth $30 million ($5 million AAV).
Based on his production at that point, he took a discount to stay. The future of John Tavares was unknown, he ultimately left, but Bailey liked what was happening on Long Island and made the decision to extend.
Without Tavares, he proved that he can still be productive by putting up 56 points last year and had 43 (a pace of 52 points) this year. Objectively, Josh Bailey is good.
Now, as the Islanders sit in the second round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, Josh Bailey has elevated his game once again. In nine playoff games this year he has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists).
It’s not Anthony Beauvillier (who’s been hot), it’s not Mathew Barzal, it’s not Brock Nelson, nope, it’s Josh Bailey leading the team in points in the playoffs. In his career, Bails has 10 goals and 27 points in 39 playoff games. That’s clutch.
So if in the year of our lord 2020, you are still trying to find ways to prove that Josh Bailey is bad, whether it’s the lame excuse that he’s not a goal scorer or other false narratives that you concocted in your brain just know that it’s because you don’t like to admit that you were wrong.
Instead of pushing a 2014 narrative just be the big person, and say hey Josh Bailey underachieved for many years but now he’s one of the most important Islanders. Both things can be true, it’s okay to change your mind when new information is presented to you.
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If Josh Bailey hasn’t proved to you that he’s good by now, I think you’re a lost cause. Just know that you’re hating the fifth longest-tenured Islander of all-time (he’ll become third assuming he plays 36 games next year) for no other reason than you being stubborn.