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Islanders Gameday News: The last stand of John Tavares?

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No one knows what’s going through the captain’s mind. Maybe he doesn’t either. But this could be the end.

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Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders
Think of the children.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

If today is John Tavares’ last game in a New York Islanders uniform, it’s a sporting tragedy of epic proportions. It sounds like he doesn’t want that to be so but also, like so many Islanders fans, he wants management to make a convincing case that it shouldn’t be so.

Who knows. In any case, a point came up about the NHL’s tiebreaker “play-in” game #83 if the Flyers and Panthers end up tied in all tiebreakers at the end of the season: Do the stats from Game 83 count as regular season stats, or playoff stats?

That brings up a long-held pet peeve of mine: Why, when we discuss career numbers, do we only count regular season stats? Lots of leagues do this, but the NHL emphasizes the importance of playoffs so much (and the Stanley Cup, which is hard to win but a poorer reflection of a given season’s best team than the President’s Trophy) that it’s absurd that the playoffs are treated differently.

What I’m saying is we know Mike Bossy as having scored an amazing 573 goals in an injury-shortened 10-year career. But in reality, he scored 658 goals — and those 85 playoff goals were much more important than the 573 regular season playoff goals.

Oh, but today is about Tavares. For the record, he has 282 goals in meaningful games in an Islanders uniform. But that includes 11 playoff goals, which somehow don’t count. (You telling me this doesn’t count?)

Anyway, the season finale is tonight in Detroit. Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here. Three participants are still in the running for the FIG title. (See the current standings in the final comment here.) Thanks for all of you who’ve continued to play this fun little diversion. And to Mike, for diligently tracking all season long.

Islanders Reading

  • The Islanders announced agreements on entry level contracts with two offensive defensemen yesterday: 2016 7th-round pick David Quenneville out of the WHL [LHH | Medicine Hat News | Isles] and undrafted free agent Swiss man Yannick Rathgeb. [LHH | Soundin’ Off]
  • Quenneville will report to Bridgeport today. The Sound Tigers won last night, so mathematically their playoff hopes are still alive. [CT Post]
  • Doug Weight says he know he “need(s) to do more.” [Newsday]
  • Didn’t clip this the other night: Neil Best on Stan Fischler’s send-off. [Newsday]
  • If you check our links first thing in the morning, you may have missed yesterday’s morning post from Arthur Staple detailing 12 mistakes (only 12?!) that led to this Islanders season. Lots of indictments of the management, ownership, and even the captain himself, for how they all handled this year. [The Athletic]
  • Speaking of Tavares, I love how these national radio spots with insiders become Big News, even though they basically say nothing that any random fan could conclude: “Yep, Tavares is clearly still thinking about stuff...it’s a concern...the Isles can still talk to him and ask what it would take...” etc. [Fan Rag Sports transcribing Elliotte Friedman comments] [Yes, the Encyclopedia was updated]
  • It’s the same old story, but here’s the Times on Tavares’ decision and his “last”(?) home game. [NY Times]
  • Here’s a really, really long story that kind of makes it look like Nassau Coliseum and Belmont are fighting for the future of the Isles. [LIBN] But Newsday’s government and arena beat reporters quickly eviscerated that story.

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores included the Blues winning in Chicago (Patrick Kane talked about wanting to spoil the Blues, yet he was invisible in their home-and-home), putting them in pole position before a final-game showdown for the wild card tonight in Colorado.

There are 15 games today/tonight. Pittsburgh is the only team not playing.

  • Much like us, many Wings fans want some management changes. But alas... [WIIM]
  • Coach Barry Trotz and defenseman John Carlson will have to wait until after the playoffs to find out if they can still be Capitals. [NHL]
  • In amazingly happy news, Jaromir Jagr has not ruled out a return to the NHL. Though his knee injury sounds like something that will keep anyone from betting on him. [Times]
  • It’s a dead heat race among five for the Norris Trophy. [NHL]
  • Tragic news: In an incident that brings to mind memories of the 1986 Swift Current tragedy (which involved Joe Sakic, and affected him for life), there was a tragic bus accident involving a team in the Saskatchewan junior league last night. [CBC]
  • Scratch him off your list: Antti Raanta signed a three-year extension with the Coyotes. [NHL]
  • Another fine tribute to the Sedins, who finished their final home game in style. [Times]
  • Ken Dryden says enough is enough, just ban any contact with the head already. He has support from alumni, players and agents. [Players’ Tribune]
  • Some prospects who’ve raised or lowered their stock over this season. [Yahoo]