MARGINAL: The John Tavares Story

Obviously we’re joking around with the title and image you see on the right. Mr. Tavares is anything but marginal – exceptional, really – and I hope somewhere Howie Rose is trade marking the phrase “The Marginally Talented Mr. Tavares” or else we’ll beat him to it.

Tavares has proven beyond any doubt this season and especially during the last 20 games or so that he is the player this franchise and fan base hoped he would be (nay, needed him to be). No one should need a list to know this, although a little acknowledgement that something is going amazingly, perfectly right in Islander Land (for once) is always nice.

This was a meaningless, fictitious list. I think we all forgot that somewhere along the way, about thirty miles back. In one weekend, we made a Top Whatever list on ESPN.com look like the guest list at the Super Bowl. One thing it captured perfectly was that it – intentionally or not – played to the mistreated, misrepresented and un-respected feelings that all Islander fans have gathered from the media over the past couple decades. And it played to those feelings perfectly like punk rock to disenchanted youth.

So that we can finally put this whole thing to rest, here’s a round up of the stories that the story that shouldn’t have gotten so many legs in the first place spawned.

In “big media fist bump” news, Greg Wyshynski gives Tavares two thumbs up.

With due respect to advanced statisticians — whose work has certainly changed the way this writer approaches things like the Selke Trophy — the notion that Patrik Berglund, Bryan Little and Sergei Kostitsyn should be ranked ahead of John Tavares on this list or any list is ridiculous. Yet they’re all ahead of Tavares on the ESPN list.

Over at LHH, Garik had an excellent breakdown if you can get through 2,000 detailed words on advanced statistics. It’s well worth it if you have the attention span. For those that don’t here’s the spoiler:

Greenberg’s omission of Tavares essentially comes down to a misplaced value on experience and playoff experience. Such things are good of course, but should show up in a player’s underlying numbers and a lack of such experience shouldn’t be taken against a current player if he’s PUTTING UP GREAT NUMBERS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

And the somewhat dormant Mike Bossy twitter account came to life suddenly:

Surprisingly, we’re not making Neil Greenberg more famous with all of this. There’s no noticeable bump in his Twitter following.

Oh and that Hookey News cover is a joke. Duh. It’s meant in good fun.