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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

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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