Awful scene here. The stretcher is out for John Tavares.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 20, 2021
Maples Leafs John Tavares Leaves On Stretcher
Tavares was a key part of Toronto’s success in 2020-21. The 30-year-old skater posted 19 goals and 50 points in 56 games. He is one of the only Leafs to make it through the entire shortened 56-game season unscathed. Tavares also posted excellent peripheral numbers with a 53.1 percent Corsi For, 2.9 relative Corsi, and a 55.3 percent faceoff win rate. It’s hard to overstate just how well he works within the team’s system.
The New York Islanders originally drafted Tavares first overall in the 2009 Draft. He produced at a high level from his debut in 2009-10 through 2017-18 before joining the Leafs as a free agent. Overall, the Mississauga native has posted an incredible 364 goals and 819 points in 870 games. He leads his draft class by a wide margin and is one of the league’s elite talents by almost any current statistical measure.
What This Means For The Future
This is pure devastation for Leafs fans. The 2020-21 Toronto team is one of the best in hockey. They are expected to compete for a Stanley Cup assuming they are able to defeat a determined rival in Montreal. However, losing Tavares puts a serious obstacle in front of the roster. The team still has plenty of star power, but one of the core pieces may be gone for an extended time.
It will be up to secondary options to step up and prove they can help carry the load. That could mean increased opportunity for either Riley Nash or Alexander Kerfoot in the top-six. One of the must improve on underwhelming regular seasons if this team is to reach its ceiling. On a more serious note, we can only hope that Tavares emerges from this healthy and able to return for the postseason.
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