Stunning news out of Long Island this morning as the Islanders have sent forward Josh Bailey down to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. The team officially states that he is “on loan” to the Sound Tigers, but make no mistake about this he’s being demoted. Bailey has six points in 18 games this season but he hasn’t had a point in 13 straight games. With the team mired in a 12-game losing streak, Bailey’s scoring issues are magnified by the team’s struggles and are even emblematic of them as well.
Bailey’s hot start to the season getting points in four of the team’s first five games made it seem like he was poised for a breakout season. But like everything with the Islanders so far this year, all is not as it’s appeared. Islanders Point Blank’s Chris Botta does point out something worthy of note in this whole thing though.
If Bailey plays one more game in the NHL, he has to clear waivers before being sent down. Gutsy move by Garth Snow, who has watched Bailey go pointless in 13 games despite major icetime.
Well, if you’re going to get a guy right, sending him down to the AHL to find his game is a way to do it. Doing it before having to deal with the potential hassle of fighting with waivers is a good way to do business. The Islanders are better served for trying to get Bailey’s head back on straight and keeping him in a clubhouse where the team is in an incredible funk and he’s struggling to find the net (or help others find the net) it makes sense to get him out of that gloomy room and somewhere else to get it together.
Going away “on loan” means he will be back and he might be able to provide the spark the team needs when he returns. For the team’s sake, we’ll hope that the team will be out of their horrendous losing streak by then.
But the chance for at least a single point slipped at the worst possible time, as Jonathan Toews scored with 1:18 left in regulation and then set up an empty net goal from Marian Hossa just a few seconds later to secure the 4-2 win.
The Canucks remain stuck at five wins — just five wins — on the road. They have the 29th-ranked road record in the entire NHL. Only the Arizona Coyotes have been worse away from home ice. So, that’s a problem that needs to be fixed down the stretch.
Vancouver had a chance to move into a wild card spot. Instead, they let the Blackhawks regain momentum as the period went on, and as a result, they remain on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture for right now.
Corey Crawford earned his 200th career win, making 26 saves. That’s a milestone night for him. For Toews, that’s his most productive night of the season, as he factored into all four Chicago goals, which, of course, included the winner.
So overtime against the New York Islanders seemed like a perfect time for captain Claude Giroux to bust his scoring slump.
Without a goal in his last 12 games, or since Dec. 21 before the holiday break, Giroux finished the Flyers comeback with an overtime goal to give Philly a 3-2 victory on Sunday. Jakub Voracek did great work along the boards to force a turnover from John Tavares, and Shayne Gostisbehere followed up his chance with a quick pass to a wide-open Giroux at the top of the crease.
That comeback win — Philly trailed by two goals early in the second period — bumps the Flyers back into a wild card spot.
Steve Mason had a big game in net for Philly, with 36 saves, while the Flyers fired 47 shots on goal toward Thomas Greiss, although it’s a difficult task trying to re-set and stop Giroux — an accomplished scorer in the NHL — on the doorstep.
Goals, goals and more goals! Blue Jackets outlast Senators for overtime win
Plenty of goals. A little three-on-three overtime. Seemed like an enjoyable afternoon of hockey between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Well, maybe the goalies, Mike Condon and Joonas Korpisalo, didn’t enjoy it as much.
The Blue Jackets prevailed for a 7-6 overtime win, with Cam Atkinson scoring just 1:09 into the extra period. That’s his 23rd goal of the season. Only two players — Jeff Carter (24) and Sidney Crosby (28) — have scored more goals than Atkinson this season.
With the win, and the Capitals sitting idle today, the Blue Jackets move back into a tie with Washington at 68 points in the fight for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
There were some anxious moments for Columbus.
Rookie defenseman Zach Werenski was hurt blocking a shot in the third period. He briefly left the game, unable to put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off.
The good news: He only missed a few minutes, returning late in regulation and for the overtime as well, which is important for the Blue Jackets.
#CBJ Zach Werenski said on @FOXSportsOH post-game he "thought it was broken" and "long term" injury when he blocked the shot.
“He’s made a couple of huge mistakes in a game and he comes to the bench, shakes it off and then goes out and makes a great play. For a 19-year-old playing that position and the amount of time he’s getting in key situations with this organization, it’s pretty impressive.”