For the last five years, we’ve grown to expect a level of consistency from Islanders forward Josh Bailey. Bailey factors in somewhere in the top-nine, can play on either wing, will give you 50 points, and be solid in the d-zone.
That’s essentially what the Isles got from Josh Bailey yet again in 2021. January was a slow month for Bailey with just three points during the team’s first nine games but that would quickly change.
In February Bailey would put up nine points in 12 games. In fact from February on Bailey was the player that we’ve grown to expect. He produced at a .71 points per game pace from that point onward which is a 58 point pace over a full season.
Still, even with a slow January, Bailey finished with 35 points (8 goals, 27 assists) in 54 games. That’s a .65 points per game pace which you will absolutely take for a $5 million cap hit.
In the playoffs is where Josh Bailey did his best work. He had 11 points including five goals in the first 12 games between the Pittsburgh and Boston series including the game-winning goal in Game 5 to put the Islanders up 3-2 against Pittsburgh.
With his playoff performance, Bails trails Duane Sutter by two points for 11th all-time in Islanders playoff scoring. For the most part, it was a very solid season for Bailey in his 13th year in the league.
When looking at where Bailey could’ve improved the glaring one is goal scoring. He shot at just 10.4 percent and only netted eight goals during the regular season. In a perfect world, that number is around 12-14 percent and he’s on pace for somewhere around 15 goals.
Also, on the power play, a significant struggle for the Islanders, Bailey at times held the puck for far too long. How many times did we see him on the half-wall hold onto it for too long just to either turn it over or throw a soft pass back to the blue line?
Only nine of his points came on the power play and none of them were goals. Still, despite these few flaws in his game, it was about as good as you could expect from Josh Bailey.
Final Grade: A-