For the second time this season, Islanders forward Josh Bailey has been named as one of the NHL’s Stars of the Week. It’s been that kind of year for him.
With four goals and four assists in four games last week - including his first career hat trick in a loss to Columbus on Thursday night - Bailey came in third behind Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and Flyers goalie Brian Elliott.
Bailey is now up to 40 points in 33 games on the season (9g, 31a). That mark is a significant one for a few reasons. Bailey and linemate John Tavares are the first Islanders forwards to reach 40 points in 33 games since Pierre Turgeon in 1993-94, per Islanders statistician Eric Hornick. As far as wingers go, you’d have to reach back to Mike Bossy to find an Islander that achieved the same feat, doing it in 1985-86.
Bailey’s career high was set last year at 56 points and he still has 49 games to go this year to pass that.
And how has the 28-year-old, who’s played to little fanfare in his 672 career games all with the Islanders, dealt with all of this recent success? By giving all the credit to his teammates, naturally:
Nor would he acknowledge being known for passing is pretty cool, inasmuch as it denotes unselfishness as well as skill. The winger who skates alongside John Tavares and Anders Lee said, “Obviously, I play with two great goal scorers, so a lot of the credit goes to them.”
Bailey’s been a divisive player among Islanders fans for years, but maybe we can channel some of that arguing energy into voting him into the All Star Game. Polls close on January 1.