There’s no “I” in Team. It’s the oldest saying in the book and it’s also the most truthful.
The fact of the matter is, you don’t need to build a team of superstars in order to win. Rather, you need the right chemistry with the right people. And for the Islanders, that where Josh Bailey always fit in.
Josh Bailey was never a flashy player. He didn’t score an absurd amount of of goals. He wasn’t a passing-wizard. But HE WAS a team-first player who did all the little things right.
When Bailey was drafted in the first-round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (ninth overall) by the Islanders, he was seen as a player who would fit in nicely with the team. And for the most part he did.
Over time though, Bailey has evolved his game to the point where he is one of the top two-way players in the NHL today.
In Bailey’s first eight seasons with the Isles, he never exceeded 41 points, 16 goals or 30 assists. But he was as steady and consistent as they come.
However, over the last two-plus seasons Bailey has ramped up his offensive production. During the 2016-17 campaign, Bailey registered 13 goals along with career-highs in assists (43) and points (56).
And one season later (2017-18), Bailey shattered those career-highs with an 18-53-71 slash-line.
So far, this season, the Bowmanville, Ontario native is on pace to equal, or slightly exceed, his 2016-17 campaign. And the Islanders will sign up for that all day long.
In the Isles’ Saturday night 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers, Bailey tallied two assists (one on the power-play) in 16:49 of ice time — the second-highest for a forward on the team.
“I think it’s just worrying about playing the game the right way and the way we need to play to get wins,” said Josh Bailey. “I’m not too concerned with getting points so long as the team is getting points.”
“As a group we’ve done a pretty good job of trying to limit teams’ ‘Grade A’ chances,” continued Bailey. “We’re just playing smart all over the ice and when we’ve needed it we’ve had great goaltending — all season long. I guess those things are kind of the recipe for success thus far.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
It was announced on Friday night that, should the Isles make the playoffs, they will play their home games at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the opening round and will then switch to Barclays Center for the duration of their stay in the post-season.
“It is what it is, but it’s pretty cool to start at the Coliseum,” Beauvillier told Newsday’s Andrew Gross. “Early in the year we were talking about it a little bit and I don’t think we would have played at the Coliseum. So it’s pretty nice that we get the chance to play there.”