That means the game he played in the 'A,' as in AHL -- Bailey had six goals and 11 assists in 11 games in Bridgeport and the Islanders want that creative side to come through here, starting tonight.

"I want to see the game Josh played in Bridgeport carry over," Jack Capuano said. "He played with a ton of confidence there. He has to make sure he's skating, that he's in constant motion, and when he has the opportunity to be creative and makes plays, he makes them."

Bailey went home to Ontario on Sunday with the Sound Tigers on a week-long holiday break. He talked with Garth Snow before leaving, to see what Snow was thinking about Bailey's month-long stay in the minors.

"He told me to go home, see my family and if things change, then we'll see," Bailey said. "Obviously things changed, with Matt (Martin) being suspended."

Bailey had been down to his Long Island condo once a week to get a change of clothes, so he only saw a few of his Islander teammates for brief periods. Today was a bigger homecoming.

"All smiles," Bailey said. "I'm excited to be here... I had that feeling in Bridgeport too. Every day I had that jump in my step. When I got to the rink, it was exciting. I had that winning feeling, that feeling that I knew I was going to be successful."

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