Editorials

Islanders Need More From Josh Bailey

By Matt O'Leary
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 26: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders looks on before playing against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 26: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders looks on before playing against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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One of the common misconceptions online is that you either have to love a player and they can do no wrong or hate a player and they can do no right. It feels like, that’s how a majority of the Islanders fanbase feels about Josh Bailey.

There’s a very vocal minority in the camp that Josh Bailey is bad no matter what he does, and others who will give him the benefit of the doubt no matter what. Personally, I don’t fit into either of those.

I believe in sitting back and taking a non biased approach and calling a player out for when they screw up and giving them credit when they do something good. Right now, the Islanders need more from Josh Bailey and that’s not debatable.

Through the first eight games of the season, Bailey has just one point. It came in the fourth game of the season as a primary assist on Mathew Barzal’s goal.

I’m not asking Bailey to be a 25 goal scorer, I’m not asking him for 70 points, all I would like to see is solid top-six play. That’s it. Over the last four seasons, we got that from Josh Bailey, which is the frustrating part right now.

He had 56, 71, 56, and 43 points (in 68 games) each of the previous four seasons. He doesn’t look like that kind of player right now, he along with his linemate Brock Nelson too for that matter, have been nearly invisible to start the season.

On the power play, Bailey tends to hold onto the puck too long and seems indecisive in his decision making. Instead of running him back out there, they may be better suited giving some time to Kieffer Bellows or Oliver Wahlstrom who have objectively better shots than him.

But, there’s hope. When Barry Trotz shuffled the lines last night Josh Bailey reunited with Anders Lee and boy did it look good.

It was a small sample size, but it was obviously working for Trotz. With the offense struggling Barry would be wise to keep this line together and keep the third line of Bellows – Pageau – Wahlstrom together as well.

If they do, perhaps that’s the thing to spark Bailey’s 2021 season. He desperately needs to get going, that much is for certain.

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