New York Islanders Roundtable: Top Line or Not
These are hard questions to answer. For anyone who watches the Islanders enough, the eyeball test screams that John Tavares is the most offensively talented forward on the team by leaps and bounds.
What’s worse is that anyone who watched his time with Vanek knows that most of what has followed since he left has been just a shadow of what could be possible. The story of John Tavares and “Who’s on the top line?” is an epic tragedy, on par with the works of Homer, about wasted talent and potential and it all falls in the lap of Garth Snow.
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Is it the best line? Possibly. Right now, I see most of the forwards on this team as interchangeable parts around Tavares. They are all middle six talents that Capuano rotates around the elite level talent of the captain.
Occasionally something works here or there, but we’ve never had a line together for the better part of a season. This is 100% because none of these forwards deserve to be there. Instead, they just fall into the roll for as long as they can handle it and then fall out again.
I have to bring this back to Garth again because as bad as Capuano is at chess, he’s worse as a result of Snow setting up his board with one king and fifteen pawns. Of course, Garth can never admit that all of these signings and prospects are his fault so if they don’t pan out it will be on him. Clearly, something has got to give.