|JOSH BAILEY, Islanders|
|NOBODY TO BEAT — EXCEPT TWO TEAMMATES|
Josh Bailey of the Islanders found himself in unfamiliar waters last night.
He had just received a beautiful pass, right on the tape, from . . . Detroit goaltender Petr Mrazek. Furthermore, Mrazek presented it to him atop the faceoff dot in the right circle. Beyond this generosity, Mrazek was out for a stroll in trapezoidland.
Generally speaking, an NHL player will immediately convert such a gift into a goal. Bailey’s New York teammates, however, made him work for it.
First, Anders Lee skated right along with Bailey toward the slot, parallel to the Islander left wing and in his direct line to the goal the entire way. Lee, realizing he wasn’t doing his linemate any favors, then jumped straight up in the air to allow Bailey access to the goal.
The only problem was that it was no longer unfeathered access. Wings goalie Mrazek had returned to the net and was in position to demand that Bailey return his gift. As Lee was sticking his landing, John Tavares, who had been heading straight toward Bailey from the other direction at the time of the turnover, abruptly tried to reverse his course and in so doing also nearly separated Bailey from the puck. But Tavares put the brakes on quickly enough to allow Bailey, who was probably wondering by now whether he’d be caught from behind by an Islander defenseman, enough space to shoot the puck.
As it worked out, Lee provided a nice screen and Tavares peeled off just in time to allow Bailey a slot to shoot the puck past Mrazek, who by this time was out between the circles.
It was an unassisted goal. Josh Bailey will confirm this.
|2/21/2017 vs. Detroit.
Highlight available at NHL.com.