Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 

Bailey Just Wings It

Josh Bailey scored 18 points in 16 games at left wing

Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 5:09 PM / News
By Jesse D. Eisenberg
X
Share with your Friends


Bailey Just Wings It
Josh Bailey ended the 2011-12 season on a scoring tear, racking up seven goals and 11 assists over the final 20 games.

While such point outbursts are often attributed to a player’s increasing confidence or newfound chemistry with linemates, Bailey’s late-season heroics also coincided with a less abstract change in his game.

Head Coach Jack Capuano moved the natural centerman to wing.

“There’s no question for us that moving Josh to wing really helped his game,” Capuano said. “He seemed more comfortable there. He showed an ability to make plays from the wall and he’s not afraid to get in blocking lanes and block shots.”

Bailey started his first game at left wing Feb. 28 in Washington, flanking center Frans Nielsen, one of the National Hockey League’s most defensively responsible forwards. With Nielsen handling faceoff duties and serving as the primary “low” forward in the defensive zone, Bailey was able to focus more on his offense. He scored five points (four goals, one assist) in five games.

“Defensively, you play a lot more down-low coverage as a center and it’s a lot harder work,” Bailey said. “Once I was switched to wing, I would play 18 minutes in a game and feel like I still had a lot left in the tank. It freed up a lot more offense for me. Focusing more on the offensive part of the game and playing the wing, you get the puck in different positions and I think it was a welcome addition to my game.”

You can see as the year went on, the confidence that he has in himself now. The success he had on the wing was a nice change.” - Jack Capuano
Forward lines were shuffled after those five games and Bailey was moved back to center from March 10-15. He failed to collect a point in those four games, before reclaiming a spot on Nielsen’s wing for the final 11 games of the season. Bailey finished strong with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in those 11 games.

“As a centerman you’re battling a lot more down low, spending mental energy as well as physical energy,” Capuano said. “Josh is one of our top penalty killers too, so (the transition) may have relieved some of the pressure off of him.”

Bailey finished his fourth NHL season with 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 16 games on the wing, compared to 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 64 games at center.

“The first thing to remember about Josh is that he’s still developing,” Capuano said. “He’s a guy that broke into the league at an early age, but you can see as the year went on, the confidence that he has in himself now. The success he had on the wing was a nice change.”

At 22 years old, Bailey has already played a staggering 291 NHL games. The Islanders ninth overall selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft showed tremendous offensive upside in junior hockey, with 96 points (29 goals, 67 assists) in his final amateur season. Next season, Capuano and the Islanders appear all but certain to continue playing Bailey at the position that allowed him to utilize his elite offensive instincts.

“With the way the season finished for me personally, I feel pretty good about playing wing,” Bailey said. “If I had to choose between the two, I’d take wing.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use