Tonight, Josh Bailey will play in his 1,000th game in the NHL, every single one of them with the New York Islanders. He will become only the third player in Islanders history to achieve that milestone in their uniform alone, joining Denis Potvin and Bryan Trottier.
It’s a great milestone for perhaps the most polarizing player in Islanders lore. I have my frustrations watching Bailey, but I have always liked what Bailey brought to the table, and I have especially tried to pay attention to the little things he does because the younger guys all say he’s the smartest guy they have ever played with. It’s subtle, but you can see it; the problem is that when it fails, it usually looks like a soft play. But it can work out, like his decision to cut across the net with Adam Pelech shooting on Wednesday night.
Congratulations, Josh. It probably should have happened on Wednesday, but you made it regardless.
- Some roster news: Much to my shock, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed Kieffer Bellows off waivers. Good luck to Kieffer on his next step; working with John Tortorella should be interesting. [LHH | Newsday]
- Someone had to be waived in order to bring up Robin Salo for the road game. I personally would have waived one of the two grinders, perhaps the one with the long-term (for some reason) contract, but probably not a huge loss regardless, and Salo is up now.
- Game no. 1 for Bailey was on November 11, 2008, when I was in eighth grade on Long Island. I am now a 27-year-old almost-lawyer and live with my girlfriend in the city. So Bailey has been around for more than half my life. [Newsday]
- And Bailey, who has scored some of the most important goals in the team’s history during the time he’s been here and who gets serenaded at games, is a player on everyone’s minds during games, whether for good or bad reasons. [The Athletic]
- A well-written long-form piece on Bailey’s career and coming up on 1,000 games from Isles writer Cory Wright. [Islanders]
- Ilya Sorokin was the star of the Isles’ win over the Rangers on Wednesday. With the atmosphere of those games, it’s a shame that was the only one on Long Island this season. [The Athletic]
- The Islanders’ penalty kill remains perfect, and here’s an excellent breakdown of why. [McKeen’s Hockey]
- Fantastic news: After his audition a couple of weeks ago, Thomas Hickey has officially joined MSG as an Islanders studio analyst. [Newsday]
- Stan Fischler is honored to have the Press Level at UBS Arena named for him. [The Forward | Photos]
Last night’s NHL scores include a wild game won by the Oilers in the final minute over the Blackhawks and the Canucks earning their first win of the season against the Kraken. Also, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Florida Panthers despite conceding 52 shots and now sit atop the Metro Division, the first team to double-digit points in the division. What a league, what a world.
- With a generational talent in Connor Bedard available in the 2023 draft, tanking could be incentivized. But it’s usually the GM; the players and coaches don’t tank. [E$PN+]
- The Coyotes play their home opener tonight at Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University. Let’s look back at some other weird places where NHL games have occurred. [The Athletic]