In response to Mike Brophy’s overtime article re: John Tavares, I have to think Mr. Brophy’s analysis of Tavares’ season is off the mark.
While Tavares’ goal-scoring total was down his average points-per-game was better this season than the previous one (in fact , he had the best PPG avgerage in the OHL this season).
He obviously assumed a different role in his scoring this season, becoming more of a playmaker. His linemate, Brett MacLean, enjoyed his best season in his OHL career largely because he benefited from the space and opportunities created for him by Tavares.
Tavares’ point totals in the playoffs, where Brophy points he really faltered, were similar to that of Steven Stamkos (Tavares had 16 points in 15 games to Stamkos’ 11 points in nine games) who drew rave reviews for his playoff performance.
The fact is Tavares suffers from the same criticism that other elite scorers in the game have endured in that they are compared to themselves.
Remember Gretzky’s goal-scoring totals were always lower following his 92-goal season, but he was still a great scorer in subsequent years. Elite players are multi-dimensional and will find different ways to score. They also make the players who play with them better.
Tavares fits this mold in both respects. Where Mr. Brophy is on the mark is his suggestion that Tavares was probably incredibly fatigued by the end of the season given the amount of hockey he played.
With all factors being taken into consideration. I would suggest Tavares’ season was a huge success.
Andy Meth, Toronto, Ont.