THE MORNING SKATE — From Marginal to Elite; The John Tavares Story

jt Picture via last night’s MSG Plus broadcast

A year ago we were piling on someone for marginalizing John Tavares, complete with Howie Rose’s ‘nuh-uh you better step off,’ moment, which was really only missing a sassy finger snap.

And here we are today. Almost exactly a year later, and look at that statistic up there. Isn’t it beautiful?

After last night’s hat trick, Tavares sits tied for first in the league in goals with James Neal and Thomas Vanek, and is 6th in the league in points. Not far behind is Matt Moulson who is 10th in points with 17. Tavares has 20 points in 14 games this season, and is absolutely en fuego. Now if they can get some secondary scoring…

But the positive reviews for Tavares are pouring in. If John Tavares was a restaurant on Yelp, he’d have five stars.

On NHL Network, Barry Melrose leads off with a Yelp review of his own; “Tavares is the guy that makes this game go, he’s the guy that stirs the drink.” So, he’s the bartender?

Over at TSN, Craig Button breaks down John Tavares’ play thus far, calling him ‘elite level’, and goes so far as to say “in his draft year, I had questions if he should have been the first pick overall, boy was I ever wrong.” That link is well worth the click.

MARK STREIT COULD BE RE-SIGNING…
Via Newsday:

Streit’s agents at CAA and Islanders general manager Garth Snow have had some preliminary talks on an extension, Newsday has learned. The Islanders still are painfully thin on NHL-ready defensemen, so Streit, who has had some struggles in his own zone, still would be welcome to return on a short-term deal beyond this season.

OR MAYBE NOT…

It all depends on what the Islanders do on the ice the next three to four weeks. If they stumble and fall too far out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Snow might have some of the best trade chips available in Streit and Lubomir Visnovsky

The article goes on to say that the Islanders are shopping Marty Reasoner — no takers yet, not surprisingly — and could waive him if they need to call up a forward. You don’t think that… No, they wouldn’t… Could they?