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Tavares On the Rise

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

John Tavares, the New York Islanders centre who was the NHL’s player of the month for January, is working the corners. He spins, he rolls off two checkers, he has his head raised like a cobra in search of opportunity. He works through traffic by keeping everything in so tight to his body they cannot stop him from slipping by. He sees an opening no one else has seen, passes quickly and, instantly, a goal is scored.

Tavares is only 21 years of age, and though ESPN recently ranked the “Top 25 NHL players under age of 25” and somehow left him off the list, he is today the talk of the league after scoring nine goals and 13 assists in only 13 games last month and rising into the top five in league scoring.

He is far, far from the fastest player in the game, and yet he is also unstoppable. He works corners as effectively as, but different from, the Sedin twins of the Vancouver Canucks. He has, as Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson noted Friday before the Senators and Islanders met in Ottawa, “incredible hands and vision.”

Where does it come from? Winter or summer? Hockey rink or lacrosse box?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

Comments

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Keep on pumping those tires and he might yet become a star. Too bad he can’t skate.

Posted by timbits on 02/04/12 at 12:46 AM ET

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Might’ve picked the wrong day to talk about a young kid in the spotlight, what with that semi-impressive performance by a young kid last night…

Posted by Garth on 02/04/12 at 03:43 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Tavares is really good.

He has a huge impact on his team’s game.  Even more than Goals, he gets a lot of assists, and they’re not incidental assists.  When a guy like Parenteau scores Tavares is almost always the primary assist, and it’s because Tavares almost always made a very nice setup for him.

And he does put up very good numbers (22G, 31A, +5, 6PPG, 10PPA).  I rejoined a H2H keeper fantasy league this year after sitting out a year, so I had no keepers to work with, and he was one of my first selections.  He’s been the anchor of my team by far and my team has done very well.

Bang on his skating all you want, fact is he has sense and anticipation few have.  Quite frankly Crosby isn’t really that strong a skater either but nobody ever dares question that.  You don’t need to be a great skater if you have the sense to get to the good areas and to make plays.

Posted by Primis on 02/04/12 at 11:57 AM ET

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My comments are focused on the over kill promotion that did not match his actual abilities or performance. I have no doubt he can become a good player, I question he will ever be the super star some want him or announced that he would be.

Posted by timbits on 02/04/12 at 02:53 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I question he will ever be the super star some want him or announced that he would be.

Posted by timbits on 02/04/12 at 11:53 AM ET

Is there a single player in the game today that would be a Superstar on Long Island?

No.  There’s your answer.

If Tavares played in Toronto or a lot of other markets, we’d be talking about being sick of overexposure to him as we are of guys like Ovechkin and Crosby.  Iginla can’t skate (sorry, truth is truth), and how’s that worked out for him in Calgary?  You know how the name “Kessel” makes people roll their eyes?  Yeah, that’d be Tavares if nothing else.

Instead, Tavares plays on a perpetually-rebuilding team with still a poor roster, a braind-dead backup goalie for a GM, an owner who doesn’t know a thing about hockey, with very little future that’s constantly being told they’re relocating, a poor fanbase, anda market that’s considered the red-head stepchild of a mammoth market (NYC).

Gosh, I wonder why he’s under-publicized?

Posted by Primis on 02/04/12 at 05:20 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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