New York Islanders Breaking Down John Tavares Jordan Eberle Success
During the off-season, New York Islanders GM Garth Snow made a big move to address the team’s forward position by acquiring Jordan Eberle. We’re told he and Tavares had great chemistry back in 2009. Let’s find out what that means.
When New York Islanders GM Garth Snow acquired Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers for Ryan Strome we immediately thought he’d play with John Tavares. Why else would Garth Snow acquire a former 70 point player other than to play with Tavares?
Then we’re told by talking heads from across the NHL media spectrum that the two had great chemistry together when representing Canada at the junior level. Back in 2009, both of them combined for a total of 28 points in the tournament.
That’s just how many each of them scored in the tournament. That’s not necessarily what they did while on the ice together. Is it?
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Going Back to 2009
We keep hearing about this tournament from 2009 when Tavares and Eberle set the tournament on fire. But what do we know about it aside from the fact that Canada won gold? Or that Jordan Eberle scored a crucial game-tying goal against the Russian in the dying seconds?
Here’s what you need to know about Tavares and Eberle’s tournament in 2009. And looking at the numbers that 28 points combined is pretty much right on the nose. I’ve included the box scores to each game so you can follow along.
Game 1: Czech Republic (Box Score)
At the junior level, the Czech’s aren’t as strong as what we’ve seen at the senior level. Suffice it to say that the Canadians walked over their opposition to a final score of 8-1.
In the one-sided goal fest that ensued, John Tavares put up two goals and an assist. All within the first 27 minutes of the game. On both goals, Jordan Eberle was the primary assist.
That’s four combined points already.
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Game 2: Kazakhstan (Box Score)
As expected this game was no contest. It never is. This isn’t a “can we win?” game rather than a “how many goals can we score?” type of game.
Through 60 minutes the Canadians would have 15 to the Kazakh’s none. It’s embarrassing, but Kazakhstan already knows it’s not going to compete with the big boys. What it’s looking for is to stay the tournament next year by winning the relegation portion.
Tavares would put up two goals and two assists on the day. Eberle would provide the second assist to Tavares’ first goal and would only get a +1 for being on the ice on the second one.
Eberle would add a goal and an assist, but Tavares wasn’t on the ice for either of those. That puts the two up to seven combined points. (I’m not counting the +1 for being on the ice as a point).
Game 3: Germany (Box Score)
The duo would only combine on a Tavares goal, with Eberle again providing the secondary assist on the goal. Tavares would add an assist on a Jamie Benn goal, but Eberle didn’t factor into the equation.
That’s nine combined points between them. In three games mind you. And against lower-tier opposition.
Game 4: USA (Box Score)
The only worthy challenger in this group was Team USA. A team featuring future NHL stars like Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan McDonagh, and James van Riemsdyk. The Canadians still won 7-4. Thanks largely to the efforts of John Tavares and Jordan Eberle.
The two would score four of Canada’s seven goals. With Tavares scoring a hat-trick. Neither would provide an assist on either’s goal. But Eberle would get a +1 for Tavares’ first goal and Tavares would do the same on Eberle’s.
That’s eleven combined points. (Remember, I’m not counting the +1s).
Game 5: Russia Semifinal (Box Score)
Jordan Eberle would become a household name in Canada thanks to this game alone. He scored that fantastic backhand goal with only second remaining with Tavares earning the first assist.
Eberle would score earlier in the contest where Tavares would provide the secondary assist. Helping Canada squeeze by the Russian’s and into the finals against Sweden.
That 15 combined points for the two.
Game 6: Sweden Finals (Box Score)
In the final and decisive game of the tournament, Eberle had himself a three point game with a goal and two helpers. None of which Tavares had a direct impact on.
Tavares only got a +1 on a P.K. Subban goal that Eberle had the first assist on. That brings the total up to 16 combined points of their total 28 of the tournament.
The two finished second and third in terms of scoring at the tournament. Tavares with his 15 and Eberle with 13. Only teammate Cody Hodgson had a better 16 point showing in Ottawa almost nine years ago.
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What’s clear is how these two New York Islanders players enjoyed playing together. It’s a short tournament with only six games played. It was also years ago. Can the two recreate that years later? Maybe, there’s clearly something there. But figuring out if they’ll have chemistry won’t be as easy as simply summing up the two’s points totals from the tournament.