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John Tavares' shooting/skating skills

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Old
12-10-2011, 11:06 AM
  #1
BillD
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John Tavares' shooting/skating skills

Let me begin by saying that I am a huge Tavares fan and am very pleased that we were in a position to pick him #1 overall in 2009.

This is a special player, with exceptional hockey sense and intangibles that can not be taught.

His improved lateral movement, skating speed, and strength have just accelerated his move toward elite status.

His passing ability turns out to be very close to, if not already elite.....something that was not pronounced as much in his draft year. He is approaching Datsyuk like comparison in his offensive game.

Please do not bother to answer if all you can say is "he'll be fine" or "he is still young", or other lame dismissive comments. I am very thankful for this special player.

What I want to discuss is Johnny's shot, which I believe can be improved, even in-season, which will allow him to become the dominant goal scorer he expects of himself, which is what he was as a junior.

The shot he uses now is a snap shot, where he only moves the blade a few inches. This shot limits his ability to lift the puck or get enough velocity to beat goaltenders as much where he tends to shoot a lot.....6 & 7 hole.

With the way goalies play now, mainly full butterfly or modified butterfly style, and their average size and athletecism, it appears that for John to become a 40-50 goal scorer, he needs to develop a shot where he rolls his wrists so he can hit the two top corners. He does not roll his wrists and so winds up shooting into the body below the mid-chest line.
I know Bossy was a snap shot player, but that was a different time and the goalies played a different style and were not as big.

How hard would it be for JT to develop that shot, the same one as Moulson will often uses? Does he need a more flexible stick, or a more lofted lie angle?

Discuss.

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12-10-2011, 11:18 AM
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jesus, you scared me with that thread title

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12-10-2011, 11:24 AM
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Dude there is a big difference in:

John Tavares shot

And

John Tavares' shot.

One shows posession and the other shows he might be dead. Good job.

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12-10-2011, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goaljudge View Post
Let me begin by saying that I am a huge Tavares fan and am very pleased that we were in a position to pick him #1 overall in 2009.

This is a special player, with exceptional hockey sense and intangibles that can not be taught.

His improved lateral movement, skating speed, and strength have just accelerated his move toward elite status.

His passing ability turns out to be very close to, if not already elite.....something that was not pronounced as much in his draft year. He is approaching Datsyuk like comparison in his offensive game.

Please do not bother to answer if all you can say is "he'll be fine" or "he is still young", or other lame dismissive comments. I am very thankful for this special player.

What I want to discuss is Johnny's shot, which I believe can be improved, even in-season, which will allow him to become the dominant goal scorer he expects of himself, which is what he was as a junior.

The shot he uses now is a snap shot, where he only moves the blade a few inches. This shot limits his ability to lift the puck or get enough velocity to beat goaltenders as much where he tends to shoot a lot.....6 & 7 hole.

With the way goalies play now, mainly full butterfly or modified butterfly style, and their average size and athletecism, it appears that for John to become a 40-50 goal scorer, he needs to develop a shot where he rolls his wrists so he can hit the two top corners. He does not roll his wrists and so winds up shooting into the body below the mid-chest line.
I know Bossy was a snap shot player, but that was a different time and the goalies played a different style and were not as big.

How hard would it be for JT to develop that shot, the same one as Moulson will often uses? Does he need a more flexible stick, or a more lofted lie angle?

Discuss.
I think JT's shot is one of the few weaknesses to his game. But it's not the power or the release of his shot, it's the placement. Too often JT shoots into the opposing goalie's chest. However, we've also seen him hit corners and make it look easy. A good example of this is Patrick Sharp. The guy makes a living of shooting in corners, and places where the goalie will need to make a real good save even if in good position. With that being said, Sharp did not have the skill perfected when he was 21-22 years of age. It's something he has developed.

JT has improved his strength and skating markedly over the span of a year. The minor issue he has with his shot should be a far easier correction. This kid is not only willing to work hard at improvement, but seems to know how to get it done. Kyle Okposo has a similar issue with his shot (his shot placement is poor, otherwise he could score 30 goals a year with relative ease), but he hasn't been able to correct this over the last couple of years. JT is obviously a superior talent, and with that should be able to improve on it as he continues to add strength and continues to develop confidence.

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12-10-2011, 11:33 AM
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LOL @ original thread title.

Don't scare us like that.

and truthfully, when I originally saw the thread title, I wasn't even thinking guns. I was thinking that this was some crazy thread about how he's shot (as in he's got nothing left in the tank) because he hasn't been scoring a ton of goals lately.

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12-10-2011, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goaljudge View Post
Let me begin by saying that I am a huge Tavares fan and am very pleased that we were in a position to pick him #1 overall in 2009.

This is a special player, with exceptional hockey sense and intangibles that can not be taught.

His improved lateral movement, skating speed, and strength have just accelerated his move toward elite status.

His passing ability turns out to be very close to, if not already elite.....something that was not pronounced as much in his draft year. He is approaching Datsyuk like comparison in his offensive game.

Please do not bother to answer if all you can say is "he'll be fine" or "he is still young", or other lame dismissive comments. I am very thankful for this special player.

What I want to discuss is Johnny's shot, which I believe can be improved, even in-season, which will allow him to become the dominant goal scorer he expects of himself, which is what he was as a junior.

The shot he uses now is a snap shot, where he only moves the blade a few inches. This shot limits his ability to lift the puck or get enough velocity to beat goaltenders as much where he tends to shoot a lot.....6 & 7 hole.

With the way goalies play now, mainly full butterfly or modified butterfly style, and their average size and athletecism, it appears that for John to become a 40-50 goal scorer, he needs to develop a shot where he rolls his wrists so he can hit the two top corners. He does not roll his wrists and so winds up shooting into the body below the mid-chest line.
I know Bossy was a snap shot player, but that was a different time and the goalies played a different style and were not as big.

How hard would it be for JT to develop that shot, the same one as Moulson will often uses? Does he need a more flexible stick, or a more lofted lie angle?

Discuss.
Your pre-emptive strikes are excellent, and I guarantee you that people will defy them.

I really don't feel like I can speak for Tavares' shot, because he doesn't use it very often. One shortcoming, in my opinion, is that he's got two marginal wingers who he's making look very good. No one creates room for him out there. Whatever room he gets, he has to make for himelf. He doesn't get fed the puck a lot, either. His hockey sense is elite. The hockey sense of his wingers is limited. I'm not sure how long it will take to really capitalize on his goal scoring ability, because he deifinitely has it. I think it really just depends on who gets him the puck.

He doesn't put up better numbers than Stamkos, but he is a better hockey player than Stamkos. The lion's share of Stamkos' goals come (or came) off of that one-timer on a cross ice pass, usually on the power play, usually from the likes of Martin St. Louis or Vinny Lecavalier. John Tavares never had such a luxory, and doesn't appear that he will have such a luxury in the foreseeable future.

The shot issue has nothing to do with his age. It has everything to do with his linemates and the fact that he seems to rather set them up than try to score himself. Tavares usually has at least two guys on his back, making it more difficult to get a shot off. So I think it's more the line he's on, not so much his lack of ability.

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12-10-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauer Warrior View Post
Your pre-emptive strikes are excellent, and I guarantee you that people will defy them.

I really don't feel like I can speak for Tavares' shot, because he doesn't use it very often. One shortcoming, in my opinion, is that he's got two marginal wingers who he's making look very good. No one creates room for him out there. Whatever room he gets, he has to make for himelf. He doesn't get fed the puck a lot, either. His hockey sense is elite. The hockey sense of his wingers is limited. I'm not sure how long it will take to really capitalize on his goal scoring ability, because he deifinitely has it. I think it really just depends on who gets him the puck.

He doesn't put up better numbers than Stamkos, but he is a better hockey player than Stamkos. The lion's share of Stamkos' goals come (or came) off of that one-timer on a cross ice pass, usually on the power play, usually from the likes of Martin St. Louis or Vinny Lecavalier. John Tavares never had such a luxory, and doesn't appear that he will have such a luxury in the foreseeable future.

The shot issue has nothing to do with his age. It has everything to do with his linemates and the fact that he seems to rather set them up than try to score himself. Tavares usually has at least two guys on his back, making it more difficult to get a shot off. So I think it's more the line he's on, not so much his lack of ability.
Well said.

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12-10-2011, 12:28 PM
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I have seen every game that Tavares has played in the nhl and I could only rember to goals he scored that was not a one timer or rebound or down low to open net....Its was his 2nd goal ever scored and it was against Tim Thomas, nice wrist shot and last games goal against TBL......He also does not bury Break aways......from the circles in hes a monster...If he starts puttting in more shots and breakaways hes a 40-50 goal scorer easy...

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12-10-2011, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPIsles21 View Post
I think JT's shot is one of the few weaknesses to his game. But it's not the power or the release of his shot, it's the placement. Too often JT shoots into the opposing goalie's chest. However, we've also seen him hit corners and make it look easy. A good example of this is Patrick Sharp. The guy makes a living of shooting in corners, and places where the goalie will need to make a real good save even if in good position. With that being said, Sharp did not have the skill perfected when he was 21-22 years of age. It's something he has developed.

JT has improved his strength and skating markedly over the span of a year. The minor issue he has with his shot should be a far easier correction. This kid is not only willing to work hard at improvement, but seems to know how to get it done. Kyle Okposo has a similar issue with his shot (his shot placement is poor, otherwise he could score 30 goals a year with relative ease), but he hasn't been able to correct this over the last couple of years. JT is obviously a superior talent, and with that should be able to improve on it as he continues to add strength and continues to develop confidence.
Agreed, well put. He has the rare ability to elevate the level of play of his teammates, he's definitely showing that he's a special, special talent.

His finishing ability is not at the level we all EXPECT it to be, but I have no doubt in my mind that it will improve. His shot is nothing special at the current time in terms of placement and power. His release isn't bad, but it could stand to get quicker. He has scored most of his goals from in close his whole life, so you can kind of tell when watching him shoot. I know it will improve in all facets very soon. This kid's worth ethic is what convinces me of that.

Everyone sees it, he's taken his game to another level. If you didn't watch hockey and happened to tune into a game with the volume off (sorry Butch), you'd be like 'that 91 is awesome'. I expect him to score 50 or more in the near future - with better linemates, he can't do it all by himself. Just like everything, it does take time. Yeah, he is 21 and in his third year in the league. Whatever weaknesses that he has, you know he'll work tirelessly to improve them. He seems to eat, breathe, and doodoo hockey so he will 'make it so, #1'.

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12-10-2011, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyNystromOwnsYou View Post
Dude there is a big difference in:

John Tavares shot

And

John Tavares' shot.

One shows posession and the other shows he might be dead. Good job.
Damn, I didn't think of that....adjective instead of verb

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12-10-2011, 12:50 PM
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I was just wondering if he needed to change the type of shot he uses.
If he were to pull the puck back and release it by rolling his wrists, that would elevate the puck to the top corners and around the goalies ears.
How hard is that to learn and master. I never played hockey, only been a spectator for 50 years, but I relate to it as a golfer.

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12-10-2011, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bauer Warrior View Post
Your pre-emptive strikes are excellent, and I guarantee you that people will defy them.

I really don't feel like I can speak for Tavares' shot, because he doesn't use it very often. One shortcoming, in my opinion, is that he's got two marginal wingers who he's making look very good. No one creates room for him out there. Whatever room he gets, he has to make for himelf. He doesn't get fed the puck a lot, either. His hockey sense is elite. The hockey sense of his wingers is limited. I'm not sure how long it will take to really capitalize on his goal scoring ability, because he deifinitely has it. I think it really just depends on who gets him the puck.

He doesn't put up better numbers than Stamkos, but he is a better hockey player than Stamkos. The lion's share of Stamkos' goals come (or came) off of that one-timer on a cross ice pass, usually on the power play, usually from the likes of Martin St. Louis or Vinny Lecavalier. John Tavares never had such a luxory, and doesn't appear that he will have such a luxury in the foreseeable future.

The shot issue has nothing to do with his age. It has everything to do with his linemates and the fact that he seems to rather set them up than try to score himself. Tavares usually has at least two guys on his back, making it more difficult to get a shot off. So I think it's more the line he's on, not so much his lack of ability.
Great points and I agree for the most part, but his shot does need work. I'm not concerned because I know it will improve.

He seriously does need help on his line. If you look at how he's performed in International tourneys, it backs up your theory. With better linemates, he performs big. I wouldn't be surprised for him to be on Team Canada and be on the top 2 lines in Sochi 2014. A JT/Crosby/Stamkos line would be LEGENDARY. If Steve Yzerman is still the GM for Canada, I'm pretty confident that he sees how dominant a player JT is becoming. We will have to see.

Sorry for going on a tangent there.


Last edited by PWJunior: 12-10-2011 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Fixed
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12-10-2011, 01:06 PM
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I've watched every John Tavares game since he became an Islander and like most people here I agree that he has taken his game to a whole different level. JT carries his line most of the time and most of the offense comes from him setting up his linemates. His skating has improved dramatically and he has gotten a lot stronger. I think his weakest offensive asset is his shot. Like many have mentioned in this thread he usually shoots it at the goalies crest. And I can count with one hand how many goals he's scored that weren't tap ins or re directions. I really don't get the feeling JT is a sniper like many here think he is (aka Stamkos). He is more of a finisher per say the guy who will put in that rebound and re direct shots. Like a ryan smyth? I hope he improves his shot I really do but like mentioned before you can tell he has been scoring by just being in the right spots and not because he has a lethal shot. The truth is even if he has a lethal shot that we haven't seen he barely shoots the puck. He usually is the one setting up plays for his line and is barely set up by moulson or PA. On the powerplay his is always set up as a passer and is rarely put in a shooting postion. I'm one of the biggest JT fans but the reality is if he had a good shot or even better placement the guy would have been a 2 time 30 goal scorer. I hope I'm wrong and he works on his shot this offseason and becomes a beast at it but I honestly don't see it happening and I really think it will keep him from being a elite player in this league because you can only get so many tap ins and re directs especially with Dmen keeping their eye on him.

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12-10-2011, 01:14 PM
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I didn't go on any tangent. And not only do I not use post scripts, if I did, I would not put one in the middle of a passage.

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12-10-2011, 01:17 PM
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any one who does not think JT will put up better number's with better linmates just well he lead the world championships in scoring the last 2 years when he had better line mates.....Last year he an skinner were sick together.....my what could have been if we picked skinner 5th

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12-10-2011, 01:20 PM
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I didn't go on any tangent. And not only do I not use post scripts, if I did, I would not put one in the middle of a passage.
Haha, no sorry. I went on a tangent, not you.

Nothing to see here, move along.


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12-10-2011, 01:50 PM
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No question that JT's shot is his weakest area. I'll guarantee this time next year, he's a different player on that front. Why? Because the kid is mature and wise beyond his years and acknowledges his weaknesses (e.g., skating).

If the work and strides (pardon the pun) he's taken with his skating is any indication, his shot will be a rocket soon.

He needs work on his "long" game as well as his breakaways. He has absolutely zero moves.

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12-10-2011, 02:58 PM
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Haha, no sorry. I went on a tangent, not you.

Nothing to see here, move along.
I'm so confused.

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12-10-2011, 03:19 PM
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I'm so confused.
He edited his post. He meant that he went on a tangent in his post, not you.

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12-10-2011, 03:24 PM
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He edited his post. He meant that he went on a tangent in his post, not you.
It's cool. We have a fight tomorrow at 3 over the hill. I called him out, he accepted, and shiznets gunna go down!

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12-10-2011, 03:39 PM
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It's cool. We have a fight tomorrow at 3 over the hill. I called him out, he accepted, and shiznets gunna go down!
Haha, no brass knuckles though. We have to have some sort of decorum.

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12-10-2011, 04:18 PM
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Not to many tricks seems to be the problem, easy to get a read on him

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12-11-2011, 10:15 PM
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I've been wondering how JT scored so many Junior goals with such a weak shot (e.g. release, placement, velocity). But I realized, it's not his shot that has (even at the NHL level) enabled him to score in bunches, but his slick hands in tight (and of coarse his hockey sense etc.); his ability to deke and finish in close is among the best in the NHL (youtube last year's goals against against Calgary, Buffalo etc.).

However, on his line he's playing all over the offensive zone b/c he IS that line's catalyst, taking him away from his sweet spots around the net; also, Moulson shares the same goal scoring areas, which gets crowded. I've always said JT's output is a function of his line mates, improve his line mates and his production will improve; as evidenced by his production in the World Championships. For example, if he had a puck carrier on his line who could protect the puck and create plays down low, JT would be the recipient of a high number of passes in his sweet spots, thus translating to more goals.

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12-11-2011, 11:19 PM
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I've been wondering how JT scored so many Junior goals with such a weak shot (e.g. release, placement, velocity). But I realized, it's not his shot that has (even at the NHL level) enabled him to score in bunches, but his slick hands in tight (and of coarse his hockey sense etc.); his ability to deke and finish in close is among the best in the NHL (youtube last year's goals against against Calgary, Buffalo etc.).

However, on his line he's playing all over the offensive zone b/c he IS that line's catalyst, taking him away from his sweet spots around the net; also, Moulson shares the same goal scoring areas, which gets crowded. I've always said JT's output is a function of his line mates, improve his line mates and his production will improve; as evidenced by his production in the World Championships. For example, if he had a puck carrier on his line who could protect the puck and create plays down low, JT would be the recipient of a high number of passes in his sweet spots, thus translating to more goals.
In junior, his shot was able to beat goalies. That same shot cannot beat NHL goalies. He'll need to improve that over time and be sure he will. His last goal, that rocket wrister from the slot, is something we'll see more of in time. Another difference from junior is that he actually got passes in junior. He never really played with the best linemates, the Oshawa teams weren't that great and in the WJC, even at his best, he played with Didomenico/Esposito - two players not likely to see NHL time.

You're dead-on with his hands in tight. He was so quick in tight and able to pick corners with ease. Again, much harder to do on the NYI especially when he's the only guy who's creating chances down low, to Moulson's benefit.

With quality linemates, Tavares would score a boat-load of points.

He's a far better player today than he ever was in junior. Not even close. He hasn't touched his potential either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPIsles21 View Post
I think JT's shot is one of the few weaknesses to his game. But it's not the power or the release of his shot, it's the placement. Too often JT shoots into the opposing goalie's chest. However, we've also seen him hit corners and make it look easy. A good example of this is Patrick Sharp. The guy makes a living of shooting in corners, and places where the goalie will need to make a real good save even if in good position. With that being said, Sharp did not have the skill perfected when he was 21-22 years of age. It's something he has developed.

JT has improved his strength and skating markedly over the span of a year. The minor issue he has with his shot should be a far easier correction. This kid is not only willing to work hard at improvement, but seems to know how to get it done. Kyle Okposo has a similar issue with his shot (his shot placement is poor, otherwise he could score 30 goals a year with relative ease), but he hasn't been able to correct this over the last couple of years. JT is obviously a superior talent, and with that should be able to improve on it as he continues to add strength and continues to develop confidence.
Okposo's release is awful. He never shoots quickly. That guy should be watching Mike Bossy videos all day - heck, even watching Matty Moulson would help him.

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08-27-2012, 02:56 PM
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In case anyone was in doubt...

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=640469

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In addition to skating, New York Islanders center John Tavares has devoted a lot of time over the past two summers to improving his shot. And, no, it's not as simple as going out on the ice and firing pucks at an empty net.

Tavares and trainer Richard Clark have developed exercises geared toward the muscles that go into a slap shot.

"He is doing something with a 20-pound medicine ball, where you laterally shuffle toward the wall at a high speed, plant your front foot and laterally throw that ball as hard as you can against that wall," Clark told NHL.com. "It's not 100 percent the same as a shot, but you're skating toward that net, you plant that front foot, the back foot comes through, the hip rotation comes through and you explode with that shot. Well, we do similar things to that."

At Tavares' request, Clark purchased a machine made by Keiser that he uses to strengthen his midsection through rotational exercises.

"I think it has made great improvements," Tavares told NHL.com. "In the game of hockey there is a lot of twisting, movement of the body, a lot of awkward positions that you put your body in that aren't normal for other athletes, say a sprinter or a football player. You put your body in a lot of positions that are very unique -- and there is a lot of rotational, twisting, pull work. We've used a rotational machine made by Keiser where you do rotational lifts. That has been good for us because you are rotating through your shot -- to do that you need your core work."

Tavares also installed a shooting pad on a synthetic ice surface in the back yard of his home in Mississauga, Ontario.

"One of the biggest differences I found when I came into the League is how good the goaltending is and how much quicker you need to be not just in the way you skate but in the way you shoot the puck," Tavares told NHL.com. "That's why I have been working to improve both."

-- Dan Rosen

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