Fish Sticks; The Islanders former whipping boys are becoming their heroes
The New York Islanders were very close to going down a dangerous path if they lost both their contests to the Philadelphia Flyers and Arizona Coyotes. Instead they once again proved why they’re for real and regardless of how much #IslesTwitter wants to bury them with every bad loss, they come back each time with two even bigger wins.
The two biggest stars in those wins, other than Robin Lehner of course, were the two players who catch the most flak from Islander fans. Josh Bailey scored two goals in the last four minutes of the game on Saturday afternoon against the Flyers to give the Isles a 4-2 victory, and Brock Nelson scored goals in both contests, including a victory sealing wraparound against the Coyotes on Sunday.
Bailey has had such a helter skelter season, as he usually has, and on any given day can either be the best player on the ice or the worst. He has 16 goals, 37 assists and 53 points total but has looked completely flat for games at a time, including a terrible performance against Boston last week. However when the cards were stacked against him he showed why he is still a great player, potting the GWG and an insurance one against Philadelphia.
As for Brock Nelson, the love has definitely rekindled between the much maligned center and the Islander fan base. It’s been a slow burn but Brock Nelson has most certainly been one of the Islanders’ top forwards all season. Although sometimes fans think he should produce more than he does, he still has a career high in points (50) and with three goals in the next six games could have a career high in goals (26 was his previous high). Nelson’s heroics came both on Saturday and Sunday where he tied the game up in the first period against the Flyers and had the ever important insurance goal with three minutes to go against the Coyotes.
Look, the Islanders have a lot of flaws as a team but with a good stretch could win the Metro Division. Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson may never live up to the inflated hype Islander fans have been throwing on them for years. What they have been doing is producing when the Islanders need it most. They’re producing on a team that really doesn’t produce all that much. It looks like the former whipping boys of Islander fans have become late game heroes, eh?
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