Josh Bailey set up 43 goals in 82 games last season, but that doesn’t figure to hold up as his career high for assists. The Islanders’ 10th-year right wing has set up 36 goals in 36 games this season.
“I think even Josh might be surprised a bit at the numbers he’s put up,” coach Doug Weight said before Bailey had the primary assist on the Islanders’ first goal in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Winnipeg at Barclays Center. “That’s not a slight to say you’re a little surprised. I think it’s been a pleasant surprise.”
It helps to have linemates the likes of John Tavares and Anders Lee. Bailey’s ability also has been a large factor for a team that was tied with Tampa Bay for the NHL’s scoring lead before the Lightning’s game against Minnesota on Saturday night.
As Saturday night’s games began, Bailey stood first in the NHL in assists. He also has scored 10 goals, including five in the last five games, and has an eight-game point streak.
“Of course, with the way he played last year and his determination and [how he] just kind of amped his game up in all areas, I think we expected a big year from Josh,’’ Weight said, “and we’re getting it.”
De Haan out ‘long term’
Calvin de Haan injured his left shoulder against Los Angeles on Dec. 16. Weight said the defenseman hadn’t had surgery and added, “We’re still trying to figure that out,” but the Islanders know he won’t return soon.
“He’s out indefinitely,” Weight said. “I think there’s still some stuff to see the proper healing and what we have to do. But he’ll be out for long term. Whether we’re hopeful to get him back, it’s kind of to be determined.”
Weight said Bridgeport defensemen Devon Toews and Sebastian Aho “have played very well.” Could one of them be summoned? “As you move forward,’’ he said, “everything’s a possibility.”