Guest Blog – Patrick Hoffman of Kukla’s Korner ReturnsShareThis
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On John Tavares
- by Patrick Hoffman
When you are a hockey player playing on an inconsistent hockey club, there are many reasons to get down yourself and underperform because essentially, the season is already a lost cause.
One player in the National Hockey League that does not buy that is New York Islanders’ forward John Tavares.
Yes, we all know that there has been a lot of negative press with the Islanders’ this season whether it was regarding former head coach Scott Gordon, current general manager Garth Snow, current owner Charles Wang, the Lighthouse project, etc. Fortunately for the Islanders, a rose has emerged in the form of the 20-year-old Tavares.
In 40 games this season, Tavares has 33 points (18 goals and 15 assists) despite being a -17. Yes, that -17 is quite glaring but believe it or not, Tavares is starting to heat up. A few nights back, Tavares did something an Islander hasn’t done in a very long time: scored a natural hat trick. It came against the Buffalo Sabres and in the process, Tavares pulled within six of his goal total from last season, 24.
So, what does this mean for the Islanders and Tavares? Well, for starters, it shows that Tavares is starting to show consistency. Last season, Tavares compiled 54 points. At this season’s pace, Tavares should beat that. Certainly not bad for someone who isn’t even 21 years old yet, eh?
Secondly, it shows that Tavares is learning how to play through tough times. It is quite obvious that the Islanders are NOT going to make the playoffs this season and yet, Tavares is skating hard every night, generating scoring opportunities and more importantly, producing. In his last five games, Tavares has six points (5 goals and 1 assist) and has shown no quit, despite what the standings indicate.
This also shows that the future is NOW for Tavares and the Islanders. Having guys like Matt Moulson, Josh Bailey, Blake Comeau, PA Parenteau, and others succeed now should show that when it comes to their younger players, the Islanders’ organization is going in the right direction.
The maturation of John Tavares is a big step in the right direction for the New York Islanders. Hopefully, other Islanders’ players will follow in his direction and give everything they have for the rest of the season.
The future is NOW for the Islanders and it is time to start looking forward instead of in the past. So Islanders’ fans, consider yourselves lucky as things may just get better for Tavares and the Islanders from here on out.
Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. He’s written for popular hockey blogs/news outlets such as Kukla’s Korner, RLD Hockey, SNYRangersBlog.com, Spector’s Hockey, The Hockey News, Blueshirt Bulletin and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.