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What's the deal, or lack thereof, with JT?

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04-05-2013, 12:01 PM
  #1
ktrio730
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What's the deal, or lack thereof, with JT?

I've been thinking about this for awhile now, but almost every night it becomes more and more apparent out there. Something has got to be going on with JT. My buddy is absolutely convinced that he's been masking an injury for awhile.

I'm not so sure about that, but I do think there's a severe amount of frustration that is pissing him off right now. We've all seen JT get angry, slamming doors and whatnot, but I've seen on a few occasions things like last night (twice!) when he didn't get a call and would basically stand there with his arms up and slowly skate away. Particularly bad was the first play when the Isles were down a goal and the puck was at his feet. Rather than play to the whistle he looked up, and didn't put his stick back on the ice until way after the play.

A combination of cheap shots lately and the refs not calling them, having linemates that are clearly not right and the coach forcefeeding them out there every game, and his own "slump" I'm sure could all be factors. His own line has not looked great lately, even though they've come up with some big goals.

Anyways, anyone have an opinion on any of this? Maybe I'm looking into it too deep, but I've just never seen him this pissed off for this long, especially in the middle of a legitimate playoff push.

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04-05-2013, 12:06 PM
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Crazy Carl Spackler
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Rumors he had the flu a few weeks ago and he still kinda has it...

Rumors he's a tad bit injured..don't know what though...

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04-05-2013, 12:10 PM
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seafoam
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He needs a linemate that will create space for him, JT is doing way too much work for himself.

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04-05-2013, 12:26 PM
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Isles Junkie
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He's probably dead tired from carrying the line all season long. The line spends way too much time pinned in the defensive zone. I hate to harp on it, but Moulson & Boyes are a major problem on this club. They are power play specialists at best, and they are dragging Tavares down.

I also really worry about how JT will be targeted should this club make the playoffs. We all know the playoffs are a different animal and much like the series vs the leafs all those years ago, we are not a tough enough team. I really really really really really want Matt Martin on his line right now. We need someone other than JT to do the dirty work in the corners, and Matt has the added bonus of being able to protect JT and serve as a deterrent.

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04-05-2013, 12:29 PM
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beach
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He seems tired to me.

I also think he has gotten away from basics and has recently tried to be too fancy with the puck. Too many instances where he holds the puck too long or makes a small percentage of success pass that gets intercepted.

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04-05-2013, 12:31 PM
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JTforPres2012
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PAP last year was a player that was down to go into the corner, and win some dirty battles, which created a lot of room for JT. This year, his line-mates just don't play that kind of hockey and it clearly shows.

However, there was a span probably after the first 5 games, where he really was on some kind of tear. He was the JT we all know and love, but ever since the Isles' said he had some kind of sickness, he hasn't really been the same.

But I don't really know if that's the answer. I think last night at times showed how frustrated he is, after being hit a couple times and him laying a nice lick after the play as well.

Regardless, every time he gets the puck, there is always tons of excitement about what he's about to do.

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04-05-2013, 12:35 PM
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bigbren92
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I think JT is fine, it's his linemates. The rest of the nhl is realizing that they really can focus on just shutting him down and his linemates wont produce without him. If he had a legitimate threat on the wing, he wouldnt have this pressure on him. Also, the kid is 2nd in the league in goals, so its not like he's not producing. Everyone keeps pointing out how JT isn't doing much, yet he's still right behind stamkos in the goals category so he must be doing something right...

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04-05-2013, 12:37 PM
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19NYSports91
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You can tell he's trying to do way too much out there.

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04-05-2013, 12:39 PM
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PWJunior
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I agree with others that his wingers don't give him much support in puck possession. Plus, everyone knows it too including JT himself. Every time the puck is on his stick, the other team swarms him and takes away any time or space because they know that if you eliminate him, it's an easy breakout for them. Even when the puck isn't on his stick, someone is always shadowing him anyway so there is no way to get him the puck.

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04-05-2013, 12:50 PM
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The problem is that Boyes is too awesome and that he's outshining Tavares. The Isles should keep Boyes at all costs.

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04-05-2013, 01:01 PM
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Islander Prophet
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when you're on a line with Brad Boyes it doesn't do anything to help you produce...

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04-05-2013, 01:08 PM
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ktrio730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbren92 View Post
I think JT is fine, it's his linemates. The rest of the nhl is realizing that they really can focus on just shutting him down and his linemates wont produce without him. If he had a legitimate threat on the wing, he wouldnt have this pressure on him. Also, the kid is 2nd in the league in goals, so its not like he's not producing. Everyone keeps pointing out how JT isn't doing much, yet he's still right behind stamkos in the goals category so he must be doing something right...
It is obvious he's not as sharp as he was at some earlier parts, but at the same point he's 2nd in the league in scoring like you said, and is having an incredible year. It seems like he's struggling mentally right now, not necessarily on the ice. My point was to bring up his obvious frustration/anger, and what could possibly be the root of that problem.

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04-05-2013, 01:09 PM
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IceAce
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Guy is second in the NHL in goal scoring, not sure he really has much of a "deal" to begin with. Guys get in ruts, have mediocre games. It happens. Could be illness, fatigue, or just a lull if you think he's looked lackluster lately.

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04-05-2013, 01:14 PM
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BaileyToOkposo
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It's funny that everyone loved brad boyes in the beginning of the year nd some people like myself got **** for saying how poorly he plays

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04-05-2013, 01:23 PM
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IslesNorway
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I think he looks tired and probably pissed at getting no help

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04-05-2013, 01:23 PM
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RMimagery
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It is at least fatigue, hope nothing worse. Yeah. I worry about him being targeted in the playoffs too.

We looked real small against the Caps. I would seriously put Martin on JT's wing if they make the playoffs.

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04-05-2013, 01:29 PM
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I've thought for a while that Casey Cizikas would be a good fit for JT's line, he's responsible defensively and a workhorse on the forecheck, he's also skilled enough to not ruin any offensive chances. I was pretty happy when Cappy had him out there with Cizikas and McD last night... Of course it was only for a shift though.

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04-05-2013, 01:35 PM
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One thing I've wondered is whether Capuano played him too much at the start of the season, and now he's gassed.

I remember looking at the boxscores after Isles games, and most games early on you saw Tavares with like 23 or 24 minutes of ice time per game. Especially in a condensed schedule like this season, that just seemed like a recipe for early burn out.

His ice time per game has gone down and is now on par with the rest of the "elite" forwards, but that's mainly due to the last ten games or so where he's sometimes seeing less than 20 minutes per night.

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04-05-2013, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
His ice time per game has gone down and is now on par with the rest of the "elite" forwards, but that's mainly due to the last ten games or so where he's sometimes seeing less than 20 minutes per night.
The 2nd line is playing decent, so the Isles have more than one scoring line now.

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04-05-2013, 01:42 PM
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stranger34
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The problem with moving up players like Martin and Grabner now would be that they are not used to and have never played 15-20 minutes a game. We would be better served calling up Nino or Strome.

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04-05-2013, 01:47 PM
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IslesZoso
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Every time I see Boyes I can't help but wish we had PAP back. As soon as he touches the puck, Boyes' 1st instinct is to dish it off to JT and have him do the heavy lifting. Boyes is useless when it comes to lugging the puck through the neutral zone or making that 1st good pass.

I believe that's also part of the reason why JT's assist to goal ratio is a lot more lop-sided than in previous years. There's less 'playmaking' to be had in the O-zone this year.

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04-05-2013, 01:51 PM
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13th Floor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslesZoso View Post
Every time I see Boyes I can't help but wish we had PAP back. As soon as he touches the puck, Boyes' 1st instinct is to dish it off to JT and have him do the heavy lifting. Boyes is useless when it comes to lugging the puck through the neutral zone or making that 1st good pass.

I believe that's also part of the reason why JT's assist to goal ratio is a lot more lop-sided than in previous years. There's less 'playmaking' to be had in the O-zone this year.
The biggest problem is that Moulson is ALSO useless at this. That is what is so frustrating about them being together.

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04-05-2013, 02:02 PM
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isles31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seafoam View Post
He needs a linemate that will create space for him, JT is doing way too much work for himself.
If i was JT, i would be livid playing with Boyes and Moulson. They do nothing in terms of create and Boyes is a turnover on skates. If moulson isnt being fed the puck below the dots, hes pretty useless this season too. One of them on his line is enough, but to have two of the IDENTICAL players on his wings is stupid. Dont touch Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo either. Move Grabner, move Martin...someone who will create space with either speed or by dropping people in the corner.

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04-05-2013, 02:05 PM
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Lek
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ummm...Boyes is just useless....Periods. It was certainly worth a try picking him up, but no magic here. And Cappy is not help...Boyes should have been benched several times for his lack of play, especially the last few games. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, would be an upgrade on this line.

As for JT....of course he is tired....see previous paragraph.

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04-05-2013, 02:15 PM
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redbull
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it's a bit disingenuous to hail JT as the superstar-Hart-trophy-next-superstar (which I've done, this year especially) and praise him when he's "on" and then blame his coach, his wingers when he's not playing well.

And he hasn't played well.

Even when he was playing well and scoring big points I never thought he was even close to his peak, because he's been out of sync this whole season - I've always hated his linemates because they don't WORK HARD ENOUGH (well, it's not their game, so I blame the coach mostly for not recognizing that!)

I also think he's tired and probably a bit hurt, but not enough to hinder his play. Tavares' best quality is how competitive he is and how much he cares. The very traits that make him so valuable, such a great leader are what shows on his face when he's not playing his best and getting the results he wants. You can see he's hardest on himself more than anyone. He doesn't seem like the type to complain about linemates or anything else - and that's awesome.

I agree with SDK that he was overplayed earlier in the year and all the games, not enough rest, far too much physical demands on the ice have all contributed to what we see. I'd posted several times earlier this year that if JT continues to carry the team like this, to be first on the forecheck and backcheck that he's going to get hurt or burn out....and I think we're seeing a bit of that.

Tavares has not scored any of the goals he scored last year, off the cycle, by beating players down low and generating offense. He used to set-up Moulson 20x a year with that move - but with Boyes on the other side, it's just IMPOSSIBLE.

Tavares would still get his points, but you'd save his body.

Best thing for Tavares is to play him with Cizikas and Martin or McDonald and Bailey and save Boyes/Moulson for the PP.

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