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 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 22 24 -1 46
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 47 9 25 17 34
B. Nelson 47 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 47 9 17 5 26
J. Boychuk 37 4 20 17 24
J. Bailey 35 8 14 9 22
N. Leddy 47 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 47 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 41 13 5 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 9 0 .913 2.37
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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