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Get to Know an Islander: Josh Bailey

As part of the build-up to the first-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Islanders, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Islanders and how they might impact the series.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Josh Bailey

#12/ Left Wing/ New York Islanders

6-1 |  194 |  Oct 2, 1989

Bowmanville, ONT |  9th, 2008 (Islanders)

Assets Is a supremely intelligent player with good offensive skills. Can play both center and wing. Can also play sound defense and score some big goals. Owns a projectable frame.
Flaws Needs to crank up the intensity, as well as his game-to-game consistency. Tends to pass off in prime scoring areas on occasion. Needs to continue adding more bulk to his 6-1 frame in order to maximize potential.
Career Potential Inconsistent but talented forward with upside. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

Career Rolling Corsi-For Percentage:

Bailey usage

HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Bailey HERO

2015 Islanders Player Usage:

Bailey Usage

Why you should know who he is: Bailey was taken ninth overall back in the 2008 Entry Draft (the same draft that yielded the Caps Anton Gustafsson and John Carlson later in the first round) and has been a bit of a disappointment since then, cracking 40 points for the first time in this his seventh season. Granted, his 37 even-strength points were third on the Isles (trailing only John Tavares and Kyle Okposo), and those five-on-five numbers above are impressive (low shot total notwithstanding). But Bailey seems to be more of a complementary player (read: third-best-skater-on-a-line) than a driver of anything, and probably owes much of his success, when it comes, to his linemates. That said, he's clearly got skill and when skill meets opportunity this time of year, sometimes it results in new heroes being born.

How the Caps can stop him: Keep doing whatever it is they're doing. Bailey didn't have a goal in four games against the Caps this season and tallied just one assist (and the underlying numbers show that the Caps have done a pretty good job containing him as well). In fact, Bailey hasn't lit the lamp in his last nine games against Washington, and has only managed three assists (and ten shots on goal) over that span.

Bailey spent the Isles' last game skating with Michael Grabner and Cal Clutterbuck, but spent a lot of time with Okposo and Anders Lee down the stretch and spent the majority (~65%) of his five-on-five ice time alongside Tavares, so who knows what his line might look like come Wednesday and beyond, but obviously that's going to make a difference - Bailey's Corsi-For percentage with Tavares is 55.2%, but drops to 50% with Clutterbuck and 48.2% with Grabner. So here's the deal - not unlike a Joel Ward or Troy Brouwer, shutdown Bailey's more talented linemates and you've probably shutdown Bailey - he's unlikely to beat you on his own.

Famous last words, right?