New York Islanders: Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey need to raise their game

Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders (L). (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders (L). (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Josh Bailey (12)
Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Josh Bailey

After putting the team on his back last postseason with two goals and 18 assists in 22 games, Josh Bailey has been invisible this season. In 30 games, the Ontario native has three goals and 12 assists, which looks solid as he has averaged a point every other game. But if you watch him play, it is just a complete disaster.

Although he has a goal and an assist over his last five games, it seems that the NHL game is moving too fast for the 31-year old. It just looks as if he is moving in slow motion out there. Head Coach Barry Trotz has stated that Bailey is a player that does more than meets the eye and has a relatively high hockey I.Q., but this Islanders team needs more than just a smart player. Now I spoke about Anthony Beauvillier and his struggles in the previous slide, and Bailey has not helped his case as they play on the same line.

What made Bailey so dominant in the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs was that he was making those crisp, intelligent passes to his teammates, and they were executing. This season, he has not hit his teammates in stride with those passes, which has resulted in missed opportunities. In the last game against the Washington Capitals, a team he played pretty well against in their Playoff series a year ago, he was lackluster, as he was not hard on his stick, bobbling pucks, and making poor decisions.

Josh Bailey (12)
Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Coach Trotz moved Bailey up from the second-line this season to kickstart the top-line and get the second-line going. While Jordan Eberle looked like a completely new player alongside Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier (Dal Colle in his absence), Bailey could not find his game.

Despite his struggles, Bailey is still a player relied upon on the top power play unit. But he does not seem to belong out there. He fails to make the quick passes needed, and the power play, which had been a strongsuit early on, has been abysmal over the last handful of games. Given their loss of one of their better scorers in Anders Lee, the power play needs to find a way moving forward to help counteract whatever struggles may come at 5-on-5.

That means Bailey needs to find a way to alleviate that pressure and make some big-time plays down the stretch with the man advantage.

Final Thoughts

Although we want to see these two players step up, they are not the only ones that need to do a significantly better job. Brock Nelson needs to hit the net more when given his opportunities, while Jordan Eberle and Jean-Gabriel Pageau need to find a way to get back to their scoring ways as well. It will take a total team effort for the Islanders to finish in a top-four spot and mimick what we saw last postseason, if applicable.

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The Islanders start a three-game series tonight against a Philadelphia Flyers team that just lost 9-0 to the New York Rangers and have shown that their defense is so weak and their goaltending is nothing to praise. This would be the series for these Islander players to find their game and build up some confidence.