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Play Of The Day: John Tavares’ First Career OT Tally Tops Toronto

Reviewing when Tavares went home to score the first overtime goal of his NHL career

Editor’s note: Regular readers and courageous visitors to our comments section are familiar with Spizzwolf’s popular “Play of the Day” posts analyzing cool (and sometimes cringe-worthy) Islanders and league-wide highlights. He’s also the mastermind behind the Capuano’s Gmail inbox series. We’re happy to welcome him to the masthead here at Lighthouse Hockey for more.

This is the first in a recurring series where I will take one noteworthy hockey play and break it down in great detail. This is an extremely important thing and you need to understand that.

Today’s POTD goes to John Tavares’ OT goal in Toronto on October 18, 2010.

John Tavares has scored 11 overtime goals in his eight-year career. The first of these came in Toronto back on Oct. 18, 2010.

Compared to some of his other OT winners (in Toronto or elsewhere), there was nothing overly spectacular about this goal. But this PP one-timer was such a laser, I can’t even tell if the puck goes in short-side or far-side. Perhaps another angle would help.

It looks to me like it deflects off no. 22 (Francois Beauchemin) and goes in short-side. Regardless, it’s clear that even in just his second season in the league, the 20-year-old Tavares was already striking fear in the minds of opposing goaltenders. We know this with complete certainty because here we can literally see Doug Weight (parked in front of the net) reading Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s mind.

Weight would last just 13 more games that season before back spasms forced him to sit out and ultimately retire. His final game was a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay on November 17th, the team’s 11th straight defeat.

(Now, I’m not going to go so far as to say I “miss” those long 10-plus-game losing streaks. But they sort of trained me to enjoy inflicting pain upon myself. So...yes, I do miss them dearly.)

Weight’s last game was also Jack Capuano’s first as head coach after the firing of Scott Gordon. As we know, Cappy lasted a long time as bench boss before being replaced last season by none other than Weight himself. I have invented a phrase for such occurrences: “the circle of life.” You are not permitted to use it.

Here are some numbers, courtesy of

  • The 11 OT goals Tavares has scored since the 2009-10 season (nine in the regular season, two in the playoffs) are second-most in the NHL in that time, trailing only Alex Ovechkin’s 12 (all regular season).
  • The Islanders have won 41 games in OT with Tavares in the lineup. Of those 41 OT goals, Tavares scored or assisted on 20 of them, good for 48.8%. Has any other NHLer accounted for a higher percentage of his team’s OT goals? I have no idea. How about you sit down, tally it up and let me know. Or do it while standing up, I really don’t care.

This play was a memorable one, an early-career milestone for the phenom: his first OT goal, in his hometown, in front of his family and what I’d imagine to be a whole gang of Facebook friends.

Now, you might be surprised to learn that players often use overtime goal celebrations to broach difficult, sensitive topics with their teammates. Particularly when those teammates are also their roommates.

That just ain’t right, Jonny. Look, I hope Weight learned a valuable lesson here: you don’t ask your friend to move out of your place. You tell them they’re moving out. Otherwise, they’ll just walk all over you. And others will take notice (see: Buchberger, Kelly).

This shouldn’t impact your perception of Tavares as a great person, though. I’m sure this was an isolated incident, the one, single time in his entire life he acted like a bit of an ass. Aside from this one instance, I’ve no doubt Jonny’s just been a model citizen and an upstanding gentleman.

But he’s a gentleman who owes Doug Weight a favor. And I’ve got the perfect way JT can repay this favor: it involves a contract, a blue pen and a god damn signature. Let’s go, Jonny. Get it done.