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A Motivated Tomas Tatar

from Jackie Spiegel of the Sporting News,

On Friday night at the Prudential Center, Tomas Tatar will play in his first regular-season game for his new club, the Devils. The last time he played in a meaningful game was 141 days ago, which means it's been almost four months since he laced up the skates and hit the ice in the Canadiens' fifth game of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series against the Maple Leafs.

But didn't Montreal play into July? Yes, but Tatar spent it watching from the stands.

"Out of nowhere, to be honest, the coaches made this decision which I respected," he said during media day with his new club. Tatar played the first five games against Toronto and then sat the rest of the way. "We had a hell of a run in the playoffs. Obviously, you're upset, you wanted to play and I think I could help the team, especially in the final, but I had to respect the decision."

The decision was, well, a head-scratcher. Then-interim coach Dominique Ducharme made a guy who had led the team in scoring over the course of the three seasons he was there (149 points in 198 games) a healthy scratch. How good was Tatar for Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge? He had 21 points more than the second guy, defenseman Jeff Petry, and of his 149 points — which he collected at a tear of 0.75 per game —119 were at even strength.

"He's been a proven top-three or four scorer on the teams he's been on. He's great at getting open. He's great at finding the people that are open. He knows where to be," Devils coach Lindy Ruff said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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I’m really rooting for Tatar to have success in NJ. I too was shocked he was removed from the lineup in last season’s playoffs. It was especially shocking that he wasn’t inserted into the lineup when injuries occurred or when they needed to mix things up in the final against TB.

Posted by evileye on 10/15/21 at 09:40 AM 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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