Analysis Of Captain John Tavares

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Islanders fans have been desiring a ‘true’ first line for some time now. To be more specific, a true ‘first-line winger’ to play with captain John Tavares.

Last season, it wasn’t quite good enough for some that Josh Bailey combined with Tavares and rapidly improving Anders Lee to forge a line that combined for 75 goals, 31% of the team’s overall production, and 174 points. This year, through 13 games, it’s even higher at 48%.

‘He’ll regress’, they said. ‘He will come back down to earth and be the player he’s always been offensively’, they added. ‘He’s doesn’t shoot enough’ was screamed from the rooftops and my personal favorite of all, ‘How many of his assists are secondary assists, though?’.

Before we proceed, a secondary assist is
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The talk in the off-season was that Jordan Eberle was going to slide into that spot on the right wing and Bailey would never put up the same numbers without the captain to ‘pad’ his statistics. Well, Bailey did just fine on his own, producing seven points in 8 ½ games prior to the reunion. And Eberle has looked fantastic on his own as well, combining with up and coming Mathew Barzal and a rejuvenated Andrew Ladd to form a powerful second unit.

“Sometimes, you just mesh well with certain guys. Obviously, when you got Johnny (Tavares) down the middle, he’s such a threat at all times and Anders brings a great element to the line, doing all the dirty work.” Bailey said when I asked him about the remarkable chemistry. “I think it just works. It’s been fun to be back with those guys and we hope to continue this success”.

Scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next summer, Josh is coming off a five-year, $16 million dollar deal he signed in 2013. At a cap hit of only $3.3 million, that is sure to go up in the NHL’s current financial environment, not to mention he has positioned himself well for a hefty raise, increasing his point-per-game average from an average of 0.49 to 0.68 last year to current 1.23 over the course of the deal. If history is any indication, I wouldn’t expect anything in terms of an extension to be discussed or solved any time soon, but that

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