Comeau and Bailey ready to start season

Linemates for three seasons, the pair are primed for big things

Saturday, 10.8.2011 / 1:30 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Comeau and Bailey ready to start season
 

Islanders forwards Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau have been playing on a line together for the last three seasons. Now, heading into their fourth year together, Comeau will switch sides to play on his natural wing, allowing for the left-side addition of veteran Brian Rolston’s debilitating slapshot.

Bailey scores against the Rangers on Oct. 11, 2010.
Bailey’s 11 goals and 17 assists in 70 games weren’t the numbers he was hoping for in his third-year pro. Thus, after signing a two-year deal hours before training camp opened Sept. 16, he will be looking to take more shots this year.

“For me, being more of a passer, I think it’s what you want, two guys with absolute bombs for a shot,” Bailey said. “I think I’ll be trying to set them up, although this year, I want to focus on getting more shots of my own. I think that will benefit the whole line. I’ll have a shooting mentality and with guys going to the net, I think we’ll put some goals in the back of the net.”

In 77 games last season, Comeau had his best year to date, scoring 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points. Though he’ll be switching sides this year, he’s played that position before. Having Bailey remain a constant down the middle also helps the transition back to his natural side.

“I’ve played both wings my whole life, so I’m comfortable obviously on my regular wing and my off-wing,” Comeau said. “I guess the biggest difference is coming into the offensive zone on my right side, but I’m comfortable on the right side, so to me it’s not a big change.”

He added, “Me and Josh have a good chemistry playing with each other. We know how each other play and where each other are. Obviously, Rolston is a big addition on our line with the big shot that he has. We’re all guys that can shoot and make plays and we just have to talk to each other and try to get that chemistry going right away.”

While these guys are ready to get the season started, they’ve had a solid week of practice after the five exhibitions of the 2011 preseason. Rather than an up-beat tempo, lots of the practices were slowed down to concentrate on systems.

“We had a lot of skating and one-on-one during camp,” Comeau said. “Last week was making sure everyone is on the same page with systems so when you get out there during games you’re not thinking about what you have to do. It’s just routine and you know what you have to do and where you have to be.”

Needless to say, they’ve been chomping at the bit to get the season going.

Me and Josh have a good chemistry playing with each other. We know how each other play and where each other are." - Blake Comeau
“Training camp felt a little longer than it actually was,” Comeau said. “So you can feel the excitement in the room and I obviously think it’s going to be a good atmosphere in our home opener.”

Bailey added, “I played four games, so I feel pretty ready to go. I think everyone does, but playing those extra games helped break camp up a little bit. Some guys only played two-three games, so that made for a longer camp for them with more practice. I think everyone equally feels ready to go and get the ball rolling here.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Bailey 5 2 3 2 5
J. Tavares 5 1 3 0 4
K. Okposo 5 2 1 1 3
N. Leddy 5 0 3 -2 3
R. Strome 5 2 0 0 2
B. Nelson 4 2 0 0 2
C. Clutterbuck 5 1 1 1 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
C. Cizikas 5 1 0 1 1
C. de Haan 5 0 1 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 2 3 1 .913 2.61
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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