Throughout the next month plus, we’ll be reviewing the season that was and over-analyzing the various players that contributed to it. That’s what the offseason is for, after all. This post is part of a series. Read them all here.
28-19-47 in 48 games
Most often seen: doing the goal scoring and the team leading and the, well, everything
Contract status: signed through 2017-18, $4M salary in 2012-13 ($5.5M cap hit)
Obligatory YouTube video of: screw it, here’s a ‘best of’ reel
Thoughts on 2012-13: Here’s John Tavares’ 2013 season:
- Nominated for the Hart trophy alongside Ovechkin and Crosby
- Led team to the playoffs for the first time in a long time with team leading goals and points
- Scoring more goals in 48 games than in his entire, 82 game, rookie season and was on pace to shatter his career goal-scoring mark over a full 82
Yeah, just that cool stuff. No big deal.
There’s not really anything negative to say about John Tavares, which is pretty amazing (he did drop from 51% to 49% on faceoffs this year, I guess). He has shown improvement in each of his four seasons in the league, but took an unbelievable step forward this year. He nearly matched his goal total from a season ago during a shortened year (28 this year, 32 last) and almost seemed to redefine himself as a goal scorer rather than a playmaker by sheer will and work ethic. He was on pace for as many points over a full season as he had last year, but the distribution was skewed hard towards goals this time around.
Tavares spent the lockout in Switzerland playing with Mark Streit and it should be noted that he wasn’t tired from the overseas travel and play one single bit. He absolutely lit up the Swiss league (17-25-42 in 28) and didn’t skip a beat when he came back to the States.
In his first 14 games back in the NHL, Tavares had 11 goals and nine points that culminated with a hat trick and four-point game at the Coliseum on February 16th. That followed up a five-game losing streak that saw Tavares and defender Travis Hamonic wearing their emotions on their sleeves, completely distraught after the fifth loss in the streak, a streak that featured four home losses.
The rest of the way, and throughout the whole season frankly, Tavares was Tavares regardless of what was going on with the players around him. He had 10 goals in the final 17 games, absolutely drove possession for the team as evidenced by leading all the team’s forwards in corsi relative on the year, and knocked in three goals and five points in his first five career playoff games.
So, yeah. John Tavares. Great player. Great contract. Soon-to-be Hart trophy winner?
Add your thoughts and post-season grades in the comments.