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Fish Sticks – Lee and Bailey thriving without Tavares

Josh Bailey was supposed to be a product of John Tavares after posting career numbers in both 2016-17 and 2017-18.  Anders Lee still isn’t considered a top flight forward despite scoring 74 goals the past two seasons, because his success was a fluke.

It’s only been ten games, but with John Tavares out of the picture, Anders Lee and Josh Bailey are doing just fine.  For Bailey, the whipping boy for Islanders fans way before Brock Nelson came along, has put together two great seasons and is on his way to a third.  His success from last season earned him an All-Star selection, but he apparently was only along for the ride because his buddy and linemate John Tavares was the driving force behind that line.

Anders Lee had scored the fourth most goals over the past two seasons, but he was only a good goal scorer because he sat in front of the net and cleaned up the scraps of the mighty John Tavares.  Lee and Bailey get no respect from the media, the fans, or just about anyone in hockey.

The Islanders are 5-4-1, with two great victories in back to back days over the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes.  Lee and Bailey been the driving force on both games, with Lee scoring on the first shot of the game Sunday in Carolina, and scoring and adding three helpers on Saturday in Philadelphia.  Bailey has a four game point streak and has had two assists in back to back games.

The two linemates have 11 points each in ten games.  Lee has four goals and seven assists, while Bailey has two goals and nine assists.  Both have had great chemistry with Brock Nelson, who currently leads the team with five goals and who has stepped up as the first line center after Tavares’ departure.

Will Lee and Bailey keep this point-per-game production up for the rest of the season?  Absolutely not.  However, it doesn’t matter what their actual numbers are as long as they produce and the Islanders win.  Fifty goals would be fantastic for Lee, but if he can stay in the 30-35 range, it shows that he can be a viable goal scorer without John Tavares.  If Josh Bailey can come up with 40+ assists, it’ll be a successful season.

As stated before, it’s only been ten games.  The two forwards could very well go on a long pointless streak.  At this point though, both Lee and Bailey are thriving, and it has nothing to do with John Tavares.  These two deserve all the praise they get and much more.  Without them, who knows where the Islanders would be.  What we do know is where Anders Lee and Josh Bailey are without John Tavares.

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