The Islanders experienced the ultimate revenge game on Thursday, spanking the Leafs by a score of 6-1. Unlike many nights when John Tavares was a member of the Islanders, it was a total team effort, as every Isles’ forward recorded at least one point. The ex-Islanders’ forward? Zero points on five shots on goal.
As you probably already know, perceptions of Tavares to Islanders’ fans completely changed when he decided to fulfill his childhood dream and play for the Maple Leafs. Even though the jersey that Tavares wears has changed, his fantasy value hasn’t changed much.
For example, if you adjust the scoring inflation that many skaters are experiencing, Tavares’ place in the scoring race (in the top 25) is comparable to his place last season (in the top 20). JT is on pace for more goals and shots and better plus/minus, so the gains to his fantasy value are there. However, his power-play point total is down, which may be the result of a power-play unit that has struggled at times. Tavares has been a PPTOI leader for both the Islanders and Leafs, but he has averaged about 30 fewer seconds of power-play time this season.
The Dear John video was kind of cringe-worthy, but this is top-drawer chanting from Islanders’ fans.
Here’s the long-awaited Tavares video tribute.
The Islanders now have 81 points, just one fewer than the Leafs with a game in hand. Immediately after the Tavares signing, how many would have predicted these two teams would be practically neck and neck in the standings? No one, that’s who!
Fantasy owners who bailed on Jake DeBrusk a few weeks ago are probably regretting it now, as he is now handling a very hot stick. With another goal on Thursday, he now has seven goals over his past eight games. Prior to this run, DeBrusk had gone 13 games without a goal. DeBrusk hasn’t even found his way onto the top line as an injury replacement to David Pastrnak, but instead he has been on what would appear to be the second line with David Krejci and new Bruin Marcus Johansson. Krejci himself has been on a roll recently with 14 points over his last 11 games.
With two goals on Thursday, Travis Sanheim now has eight points over his last eight games. He also logged 24:16 of icetime (in an OT game, mind you) on the top pair with I