Save it for Isles therapy.
What I wanted to talk about today was Jack Capuano's decision to mix up all but one of his lines; more specifically, Capuano's decision to place Josh Bailey on the team's first line. After nearly one month without it, our weekend discussion returns - this time, to try and decide whether or not we think Josh Bailey should stick alongside John Tavares and Matt Moulson on the team's top unit for the 2013-14 regular season.
We saw it in the playoffs last season. After the Islanders were shutout in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Capuano broke up the team's top-two offensive units and tinkered with all of his lines. One of those moves involved moving the red-hot Bailey next to the team's No. 1 scorer.
Bailey responded with an assist in each of his next two games. He ended the postseason stint, his first, with three assists in six games. Not bad.
Last night, in Bailey's first action with Tavares since the postseason in May, Josh tallied the Islanders' sixth goal of the night with a deflection of Travis Hamonic's point shot. He was also on the ice for both of Tavares' goals.
The addition of Bailey to the Isles top offensive unit doesn't appear as if it will hurt the team. In my opinion, I would say the organization can probably get the most offensive output from Bailey by placing him on Tavares' wing, but for the whole season? I vote no.
I vote no because I think the team can get production from anybody (for the most part) that lines up ON Tavares' side. I vote no because the 2013 Islanders' second-line (Bailey-Frans Nielsen-Kyle Okposo) finished above nearly half of the league's top lines in scoring. It works fine now because the Islanders have injuries - Kyle Okposo and Cal Clutterbuck are both missing some time - but when the injuries subside, Bailey should find himself back where he had the most success.
That's not to say the team won't have success if Bailey plays on the first-line - Josh would probably have a monster season next to the Islanders' very own monster. Bailey has spent a lot of his career jumping around the team's roster, though, so some continuity could do the 23-year-old some good.
With 32 points in his last 49 games - mostly with Frans and Kyle - Cappy should keep Josh where he is.
Where do you want to see Josh Bailey play in 2013-14?
I'm Chris Triants, and this is my blog.
Let's go Islanders!