There's only one John Tavares. (Well, in hockey circles, anyway.)
The New York Islanders captain tied the All-Star Game record by tallying four goals -- each of them assisted by Patrice Bergeron -- in Sunday's 60th edition of the mostly annual mid-season NHL exhibition.
Hometown hero Ryan Johansen (two goals, two assists) took home the MVP award, which was determined by fan vote for this light and loose affair in Columbus.
There was a new record 11 goals in the second period. Overall there were zero registered hits, zero penalties, zero power plays, 12 accidental shot blocks, and almost zero backchecking and gap control. This is the NHL All-Star Game, 21st-century style.
On the way to a 17-12 Team Toews win over Team Foligno, each Team Toews goalie gave up four goals, including Jaroslav Halak on 10 shots in the third period. Tavares' fourth was the 13th for Team Toews, making it technically the winner.
[Box Score | Recap | Game Sum | Event Sum]
Here are Tavares' four goals, which each exhibited a different side of his skill set:
Goal 1: All-Star defense
In the last minute of the first period, this is a nice through-the-legs move by Tavares, followed by nice patience, but the glaring variable is how typically passive the defense is here. If you're new to how this game goes these days, the defensemen essentially never move their feet.
Goal 2: Breakaway, shootout style
Tavares waltzes in unimpeded, tries to do some shootout-style trickery before losing the handle on the puck, then gets it back in time to shovel past Marc-Andre Fleury's glove.
Goal 3: Postage stamp
In the final minute of the second period, Tavares goes upstairs on Fleury. Just another day.
Between periods, Tavares said in an interview that he watched every All-Star Game as a kid, so he digs the show. While he was as ho-hum nonchalant as every other player, you can tell he likes checking off "score four goals in the ASG" off his bucket list.
Goal 4: The familiar backdoor office
This one is the classic low-angle, backdoor one-timer Tavares has done countless times in his junior and NHL career. Nice shot.
Again, no MVP for Tavares (fan vote, so whatever; also: All-Star Game, so whatever), but that's just as well:
Tavares: "I had my parents, two sisters and girlfriend here, and they all said they wanted a new car. So it's almost good I didn't win."— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) January 26, 2015
And that's a wrap.
The Islanders are back to business with practice Monday, ahead of a big tilt with the New York Rangers Tuesday, the first meeting at Nassau Coliseum after the Isles took both games at Madison Square Garden.