Josh Bailey: A True Personification of the New York Islanders
It seems as though, for countless years past, that the New York Islanders have been a true example of an NHL franchise that always gets the short end of the stick, and this season, of course, is no exception. After starting in October with a promising record and even a respectable standing in the Metropolitan division, the Islanders managed to find their way into a losing streak that could, arguably, have been the cost of any post-season berth that they were surely hoping for. As a fan, I experience the false hopes, the heartache, the letdowns and the love, and boy does the love hurt.
Regardless of heartbreaking trades, frustrating management troubles, countless season-ending injuries and horrific losing streaks, one of the most painful elements of this season has been none other than #12, Mr. Joshua Bailey. I think I’ve figured out why.
The franchise often uses the slogan “We’re All Islanders,” but I disagree this season. I’d like to change that slogan to “Josh Bailey Is the Islanders.” Instead of trying to explain this season to somebody and all of the team’s misfortunes, it’d be easier to just have them take a look at Bailey’s stat sheet. Josh Bailey is the human form of the 2013-2014 New York Islanders.
Bailey started off the season strong, scoring four goals in the Islanders’ first ten games. Over the course of those games, he also tallied four assists and generated a respectable amount of shots on goal. Even his faceoff percentage was favorable. The eleventh game was the turning point though, as Josh Bailey left the ice at a -3, and it was all downhill from there. It wouldn’t be until eleven more games after that that Bailey tallied a point with an assist against Detroit and another in the following game against Toronto. He’d then go on another long streak with zero points, this time stretching twelve games. His stats are one thing, but as a fan watching his performance game after game, nothing was more painful. To put it plainly, the once-promising guy just didn’t deliver. The potential he showed at the beginning of the season, and even last season in the playoffs, was what made this slump so disappointing. We’ve seen the Bailey that Bailey could be, but that player is no longer to be found. Much to our surprise, however, the past few games of this season, Bailey is back! So much as to say that he has four points in the Islanders’ last two games! A goal and an assist in each!
This sounds great, doesn’t it? Good news for the Islanders, right? One would like to think so, but unfortunately, the Islanders dug themselves into a hole that does not lead to the playoffs.
The trends in Bailey’s production are completely parallel to that of the Islanders’. Why? Because Josh Bailey Is the Islanders. Josh Bailey is the representative of the season and the team. He’s the guy we wanted to go after when we we’re struggling, and he’s also the guy we love now that we’re succeeding. His struggles matched the Islanders’ struggles and his successes match the Islanders’ successes. We hate to love him because of the pain he causes us, but we love him nonetheless. Now that the Islanders are eliminated from playoff contention, Bailey starts to produce, and (surprise) the Islanders start to win- a truly agonizing reality to endure.
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