Bailey coming on

The Islanders center has found his stride

Saturday, 12.10.2011 / 12:08 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Bailey coming on
Josh Bailey, now in his fourth season with the Islanders, may not have started the 2011-12 season the way he had hoped. Following the team's mantras of commitment and pride, he now is starting to find his stride.

“I’ve felt pretty consistent, especially the last couple games,” said the 22-year-old Bowmanville, ON native. “I think I’ve built some confidence and tried to play a little grittier and hungrier. It’s a good feeling, especially when the team’s doing well.”

The stat sheet reflects two goals and five assists for Bailey. Dig a little deeper and you will see where the confidence Bailey is talking about lays. He's finding himself in more situations on special teams, especially on the penalty kill.

Josh Bailey controls the puck away from Brent Seabrook at Nassau Coliseum on December 8, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
He's played 19:40 seconds on the penalty kill in the first 18 games this season, but has played 19:41 seconds shorthanded in the last eight games. In that span, the Isles have only allowed three power play goals on 25 opportunities, for an 88 percent success rate. Of those three shorthanded goals against, Bailey wasn’t on the ice for even one.

“I enjoy the penalty kill a lot, I take pride in it,” Bailey said. “The way it has been going lately, it’s been good and it’s a good way to stay in the game and nice to be depended on as well. When you go out for the PK, the team depends on you to do a good job and shut down the other team’s power play. It’s definitely nice to be depended on.”

Bailey has also had an increased role on the Islanders power play. In fact, in the first 18 games of the season, Bailey played an even 11 minutes on the power play, but he’s played 11:11 on the power play in the last eight games.

“There’s no question that he has the skill,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said of his third-line center. “He’s got the ability to puck protect real well. He’s got good vision and good hockey sense. He has that ability to make plays, there’s no question. I think the more that he’s playing and the more confidence that he gets, his overall game will pick up.”

Thomas Vanek controls the puck while being defended by Josh Bailey at First Niagara Center on November 29, 2011. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Bailey said: “I’ve played power play all my life and it’s something I really enjoy doing. It’s been nice and a lot of fun to get out there make some good plays and move the puck around.”

His time on special teams has been a huge boost to the Islanders, however his faceoff win percentage has also drastically improved, winning 55.84 percent of his faceoffs in the last five games when he’d won just 44.39 percent of faceoffs in the 21 games prior. All that’s left is for the Isles center is to take his newfound confidence and put it to use with his high-quality shot, trusting that he can score some goals.

“The one thing I always say about Josh is he’s a crafty player, but there are just certain times where, and we talked to him quite a bit as a staff, getting a few more pucks to the net,” Capuano said. “Have that shooter mentality rather than that pass mentality, but overall I’m real happy with his work ethic over the last four weeks.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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