Saturday, April 01, 2017
Isles To Try Clinching Without Tavares
Before the evening games got started on Saturday night, the New York Islanders were 4 points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last wild card spot in the East and the Leafs play tonight, as do the two teams in between, Carolina and Tampa Bay, so the Islanders will need a lot of help tonight, given that the injury to John Tavares, the lower-body injury suffered on Friday night, is fairly significant, listed as week-to-week.
With nine days left in the regular season, it doesn't seem out of the question to think that Tavares' season could already be over, but I'm sure the team will re-evaluate their captain, ahead of the final weekend of play and if they are out of contention, there's a good chance he just gets shut down.
Before play gets started on Saturday night, Tavares was ranked 34th overall in pool scoring, scoring 28 goals and 66 points in 77 games this season, certainly down from his preseason expectations and the Islanders were nowhere near as safe for the playoffs as one might have thought they could be at the start of the season.
Currently, Tavares is worth a 2nd round pick in this year's draft, if we were to do it all over again, which is about right where Stuart took the Islanders forward (actual pick was 31st), where he ranks 10th in the round in scoring, compared to the other players taken. Tavares has been Stuart's best forward, tied for tops on his team with Tampa's Victor Hedman, but that has only made his team good enough for 12th overall at the time of this post.