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Connections: Bailey and Henrique

A reoccurring feature on Islanders players and their connections to other players around the NHL.

Friday, 03.9.2012 / 5:17 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Connections: Bailey and Henrique
As the New York Islanders skated around their zone for pregame warm-ups on Sunday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum, Josh Bailey glanced into enemy territory. Looking down the unfriendly ice occupied by division rival New Jersey, Bailey caught a glimpse of friend and junior teammate Adam Henrique. They exchanged nods, but that’s about as friendly as things would get before the final horn.

Bailey and Henrique played together for the Windsor Spitfires for two seasons from 2006-2008. In a league boasting a collection of 968 players this season, Bailey and Henrique are just one example of the small, tightly knit hockey community in which friendships are forged while navigating the waters of junior hockey.

“He lives in Windsor where we played junior,” Bailey said. “A couple times a summer we usually run into each other and pick right back up where we left off.”

Playing together in 2007-08, Bailey scored 96 points (29g/67a) in 67 games, while Henrique posted 44 (20g/24a) in 66. Bailey’s stellar season landed him on Long Island as a first round draft pick in 2008, while Henrique was selected in the third round by the Devils.

Henrique stayed in Windsor for two more seasons, topping out at 77 points (38g/39). He had a breakout campaign as an American Hockey League rookie with the Albany Devils the next year scoring 50 points (25g/25a) in 73 games. Now that each is a mainstay in the NHL, Henrique and Bailey can often be found chatting in the locker room hallway after games, but they check their friendship at the door to the ice when it’s time to play.

“I cheer for him for 76 games a year,” Bailey said. “The six that we play, we go head to head and battle. You want to keep that competitive edge and we are definitely both trying to beat each other out there.”

Henrique echoed the same sentiment and acknowledged that it does put more meaning into a game when he plays former teammates like Bailey.

“It’s exciting when you know someone on the other team you played with in junior,” the Devils rookie said. “It makes the game more fun, trying to get bragging rights after.”

With the season series tied at two games a piece, Bailey and Henrique have to dissect the game to find out who has the edge. Since they are both centers, faceoffs are a good head-to-head matchup.

“I think I’ve beaten him on faceoffs over our career so far,” Henrique joked. “But we never really match up lines against him.”

Henrique said he’ll talk to Bailey about the three-game set after the season, when the two meet up in the summer. There’s business to take care of on the ice, but on an off-night, they’ll be keeping tabs on each other and their other friends around the league.

“It’s pretty cool to see all the guys make it and have some success,” Henrique said. “It’s something pretty cool just to watch your friends out there.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
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10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
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13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
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