There was absolutely nothing quiet about Josh Bailey’s contributions Wednesday night, but that overtime goal that shot him into the limelight was the result of many little things that Bailey is able to do in the shadows, Barry Trotz said.
Trotz said he didn’t appreciate Bailey “as much” before he started coaching him “because he doesn’t have a lot of that wow factor.”
“With Bails, it’s all IQ,” Trotz said Friday after the Islanders optional morning skate. “He’s a cerebral player. He makes really intelligent reads and they’ll be some things, they’re more subtle. You’ve got to watch him closely. If you’re just looking for the wow factor, you probably don’t see that in Josh. What you do see is all the subtleties and sort of the thinking man’s player.”
As one of the longest tenured players on the team, Bailey has sustained his share of slings and arrows from a fanbase that at times has had reservations about his gameplay. That subsided significantly in the last three years, when he had seasons of 56, 71, and 56 points. Wednesday’s goal – a clean-up job on Mathew Barzal’s shot, which glanced off the post – solidified the good will.
“He’s real slick in some areas,” Trotz said. “He sees the ice, he has a good feel. He’s sort of an underrated, quiet player who produces.”
Players like that, “they don’t jump out at you but day in and day out they seem to get things done.”