New York Islanders 2016-17 Season Wish List Fell Flat
Tavares Part of Scoring Race
We’ve all seen him do it before. We know what Tavares can do on the ice. We know what he can create. What we didn’t know is that the cast of characters placed next to him wouldn’t be up to the task.
We knew that he’d lost Kyle Okposo in free agency, but the Isles had acquired Andrew Ladd in free agency as a replacement. And as an actual winger for Tavares. That’s right. Okposo wasn’t attached to Tavares’ hip at least not in his final season.
In 2015-16, Okposo played 618 of his 1125 (~55%) 5on5 minutes with Frans Nielsen and only 492 (~44%) with Tavares.
Giving Tavares a steady linemate, one with Stanley Cup pedigree was supposed to be a good thing. A good thing that lasted but a week before Ladd was demoted. One point ending up on the fourth line.
Things ended up working well enough between Tavares, Bailey, and Lee, but it was already too late. Tavares was well out of the scoring race, which was won by Connor McDavid with 100 points.
Tavares ended the 2016-17 season with 66 points tied with Los Angeles Kings Jeff Carter for 27th in the league in points. At his pace, assuming he’d played a full 82 game season he should have hit 70. Still well short.
I hoped that he could return to his 2014-15 form, where he scored 86 points in 82 games. Maybe with Jordan Eberle, he can do that in 2017-18? Maybe?