UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The New York Islanders weren’t without Josh Bailey after all.
There was some question on Thursday whether the NHL veteran would be in the Islanders lineup against the New Jersey Devils after he was placed on the COVID protocols list on Wednesday. Head coach Barry Trotz hinted that Bailey could be back to face the Devils prior to the game.
It seemed all but certain he would play against New Jersey when the league announced the COVID protocol list early Thursday evening and Bailey’s name was not on it.
The scare was the Islanders’ first direct brush with a COVID-related issue this season and came on a day where the NHL had several teams have to postpone games or sideline players because of the virus. The Carolina Hurricanes had games pushed back earlier this week because a number of players tested positive for COVID and the Washington Capitals were fined on Wednesday for violating COVID protocols.
“You just have to deal with everything,” Trotz said before the game about dealing with COVID-related issues. “There’s stuff that is not in our control and there’s the stuff that is in our control, and the stuff that you can control you have to do all the right things. We have and I know Josh has too, but you’re dealing with all the different things that this season, this virus, these protocols are a challenge.
“You mentally just have to rise above it.”
With Josh Bailey in the lineup, his consecutive games played streak was extended to 157 games. Bailey is starting his 13th year in the NHL, all of which have been played with the Islanders.
Josh Bailey was in his usual spot on Thursday night on the second line playing the wing alongside Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. He picked up an assist on the game’s first goal by Mathew Barzal at 4:43 of the opening period.