John Tavares Shines In NHL All Star Game

The NHL All Star game is basically a chance for the NHL to sell itself to the fans by showcasing top level talent for two nights in a row. Fans are treated to highlight reel moves that they don't get to see in every hockey game as well as having the chance to become better acquainted with their on ice heroes. Several players are mic'ed up and provide commentary throughout the two nights, even while they are in game action, as seen with Montreal comedian/goaltender, Carey Price.

Price has become an excellent goaltender for the Canadiens and wasn't shy about showing off his personality, stopping a puck by facing the glass while using the reflection to help him gage his positioning as well as giving Islanders rep John Tavares a "Tim Tebow" as he came in for one of his shootout moves. 

Speaking of shootout moves, Tavares was excellent in his display of quick dekes and craftsmanship with the puck. His first chance in the breakaway challenge was a little under par. He tried to get a little too fancy with the puck and ended up losing it in his skates a few times. But his second attempt made up for it, picking the puck up with the backhand of his blade to then bat it to himself and then a second time past Price, regardless of the Tebow move. However, his third set of dangles might have been the best out of his bag of tricks.


Video taken off of YouTube from user theschultzinator8
He continued to make waves throughout the night by helping Team Alfredsson in the skills challenge relay, taking some one-timers in close on the net. He also went three rounds in the elimination shootout, only to see teammate Steven Stamkos emerge as the winner. 
Tavares went on to play in the All Star game today and performed as expected. He finished the night with a goal and an assist and was leading all players in shots after the first period with four. The goal he scored was the third of the game for Team Alfredsson, picking up a loose rebound on a carom off the boards and potting it home. His assist on Milan Michalek's goal was even nicer, doing his famous quick stop behind the net that had everyone in front looking the other direction. 
It was safe to say that Tavares, a young player making his debut in the All Star game along with returning veterans like Jerome Iginla, Zdeno Chara, Marian Gaborik and Pavel Datsyuk, did not look out of place. Although he only finished the night with two points, he managed to create several chances for himself that could have gone in, including a shot that hit the post on Boston Bruins goalie, Tim Thomas.
Tavares wasn't the last pick in the draft before the events took place, but he was one of the few that went in the final rounds. Daniel Alfredsson gave full credit to a former teammate of Tavares in regards to why he chose him.
Per the New York Islanders official web-site:

When asked by All-Star Captain Daniel Alfredsson about why he picked JT he said “I played against him, but I haven’t seen him up close, so I talked to Zenon Konopka,” the NHL’s longest-tenured captain said. “He said you have to get him on your team. He is going to help you win. He has unbelievable hands. I saw that up close today.”

It was great to see the New York Islanders represented throughout all of the events in this year's NHL All Star weekend, especially since Michael Grabner only participated in the events during the skills competition last year, winning the fastest skater.

But this year Isles fans had a reason to enjoy both the skills competition and the game this year; Tavares didn't disappoint.  

-Rob McGowan

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George Prax's picture

His moves against Price were straight out of NHL 12. Dude's got some sick hands. He represented the Isles well.

Rob McGowan's picture

Yeah his hands are amazing. He tries some of the moves he attempted in the All Star game in real game action too. He's gained a lot of confidence over the years. I am stilling willing to be that there is more to him than we've seen and that he will only continue to get better each year.