Maybe Josh Bailey is the elite winger the Islanders have been searching for.
Bailey, 27, set up the game-tying goal with just under a minute-and-a-half in regulation with a beautiful slap-pass toward the front of the net that Andrew Ladd was able to deflect home. Then, in overtime, Bailey took a pass from Calvin de Haan and chipped it past James van Riemsdyk's stick, springing Brock Nelson for his game-winner, allowing the Isles to pick up huge second point on the evening.
Bailey also contributed a goal, his 11th of the season, with six-and-a-half minutes left in regulation to tie the game at four. It was Bailey's fifth goal in the last six games.
With the three-point game, Bailey improved to 6-8-14 over his last 12 games.
I know some Islanders fans just can't reconcile this, but it's true: Bailey has been the Islanders most consistent forward all season (yes, that includes John Tavares). Quite frankly, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Bailey is everything someone could want out of a teammate, and he's just as good of a human being. I know some Isles fans just refuse to let him out of their doghouse, but it's incredibly unwarranted, and positively silly.
Now with 38 points, Bailey is just three shy of his career high, and he's gotten to this point in 236 minutes less than he played in that watermark 2014-15 season. Even more impressive is how clutch Bailey's scoring has been. The game-tying goal was the second time in as many games that he knotted a contest up in the third period, and the assists obviously couldn't have come in bigger spots.
It's time to let Bailey off the hook, guys. It's not his fault where he was drafted. This guy has been incredibly steady, especially over the last five years, and now he's even putting the points up that many expected at the start of his career.