Our over/under series is back this time we take a look at the New York Islanders captain! Will John Tavares have over or under 35 goals this year?
The last two years for John Tavares have been considered “down years”. Since the move to the Barclays Center, he’s put up 70 points and 66 points. Last year was actually his first full season without 30 goals since his second year in the league back in 2010-2011.
Heading into his age 27 season, and a contract year, John Tavares is looking to get back to his old ways when he was a point per game player.
He’s got more talent around him now, so I ask you this; Will John Tavares finish the 2017-2018 season with over or under 35 goals? Let’s discuss:
The Case For The Over
John Tavares is going to have a new toy on his top line, Jordan Eberle. Eberle might be the most talented winger that Tavares has ever played with, outside that small sample size with Thomas Vanek.
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Just look at the change from a year ago. At this time last year, everyone thought that Tavares would be playing with Andrew Ladd and P.A. Parenteau. Parenteau didn’t even make the team and Ladd was demoted off the top line faster than Jack Capuano can compliment someone on being a gritty hard-nosed player.
Now John’s got a perennial 20 goal scorer in Jordan Eberle and the scoring machine in Anders Lee to play alongside him. What a change that is. It’s going to be an even better top line than their underrated and undervalued top line from last year.
With more offensive prowess on the Tavares line will that set him up for a breakout year? Plus, he’s playing for a contract, that extra motivation can play a role in his improved gameplay.
The Case For The Under
35 goals is something that Tavares has only done once. As talented as Tavares is, he’s eclipsed that plateau one time and has never eclipsed the 40 goal mark.
You could also argue that if Tavares has more offensively skilled forwards playing with him that he won’t be the one finishing all the time on offense. Instead, his assists will increase and his goal total will be in the high 20’s or low 30’s.
Let’s debunk some of the case for the under real quick. In the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season he had 28 goals which is a pace of 48 goals over a full 82 game season. So although technically he’s never eclipsed the 40 goal mark and only the 35 goal mark one time, he’s had the pace to do it at other points in his career.
This is also the time where the players around Tavares can make him better for a change. During the entire Tavares era it’s been him making his linemates better, Just look at Parenteau and Matt Moulson.
Now, it should be time for Eberle and Lee to make Tavares a better player. I’m taking the over here, due to a better surrounding cast plus the extra motivation for his next contract.