Josh Bailey has always been a pass-first player, so it's almost too fitting that the playmaker scored his 100th goal on Tuesday night off a cross-ice pass that ricocheted in off Seth Jones' skate.
"It was pretty obvious I was trying to make the pass there," Bailey said. "Fortunate bounces do happen sometimes."
Bailey's milestone goal was his 31st point of the season. With 31 points (7G, 24A) in 46 games, Bailey is on pace for a career-year, which was previously 41 points in the 2014-15 season. The story the numbers tell is that Bailey has found consistency in his game this season.
Bailey has hit the scoresheet in 25 of the Isles' 46 games and hasn't gone more than three straight without a point. Last season Bailey scored in bunches, but also suffered four separate 4+ game point droughts. Bailey didn't make any big changes to his preparation or routine, but started the year with a good training camp and an OT winner in the Isles' home opener. That momentum has carried through.
"I just came in and wanted to have a good training camp like always and ride that through," Bailey said. "Obviously the opportunity I've been getting has been a massive part of it. It's something I take very seriously and want to make the most of."
Video: CBJ@NYI: Bailey's pass finds twine for 100th NHL goal
Bailey has played alongside John Tavares for most the season and has been a fixture on the top power-play unit - places he's played before, but not as consistently as he has this season. Tavares has seen first-hand the effects of the opportunity and the vote of confidence from the coaches has had on Bailey.
"He can really use his skillset to be effective and very good for us, very good for me," Tavares said. "He's played great. You can really see even his presence in the room has kind of grown this season and it's great to see."
Recently Anders Lee has been the third man on the top line - Tuesday notwithstanding as Lee was sick - giving Bailey, the team's assist leader, two finishers to dish too. Tavares leads the Islanders with 19 goals this season, while Lee ranks second with 17.
Video: MIN@NYI: Tavares buries one-timer goal
"The three of us bring something different to the table and it meshes well together," Bailey said. "A couple years ago we saw that too and felt like we had good chemistry, we were put together when a few guys were injured and played really well. Having that familiarity when we started as a line and then something we knew was there before and we could work off of."
There's still roughly half a season left for the Islanders, so the focus isn't on milestones, but rather keeping the consistency up for the second half and winning games.
"From training camp 'til now the focus has just been one day at a time," Bailey said. "It's going to stay that way.