John Tavares is unstoppable right now


The first month of the NHL season has been highlighted by some big goal numbers and huge individual performances, from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay, to Auston Matthews in Toronto.

One of the quieter — but equally dominant — performances has been turned in by New York Islanders superstar John Tavares over the past couple of weeks as he has taken his play to a completely different level.

When you look at the numbers it’s kind of baffling that we’re not hearing about him more than we already have.

After a slow start to the season that saw him record just three points in his first seven games, Tavares has been an absolute terror for opposing defenses the past two weeks with 14 points in his past six games. That stretch includes five games with at least two points as well as a pair of hat tricks.

That production has him sitting second in the league in goals scored for the season with 12 (just two behind Kucherov) in only 13 games.

But it’s not just the goal-scoring numbers that are standing out for Tavares. Everything he is doing right now across the board is at a new high for his career. He is averaging more shots on goal per game (3.8) than he ever has before, he has a 54 percent Corsi mark that is higher than any other season in his career, and he is significantly boosting the production of every player around him, specifically forwards Anders Lee and Josh Bailey who have seen some significant ice time alongside Tavares in recent games.

Over the past three games alone that trio has been on the ice for nine of the Islanders’ 15 goals during that stretch, while Tavares and Lee were on the ice for a 10th goal (Jordan Eberle was the third player on that goal).

Over the past 16 games one of those three players has scored 16 of the Islanders’ 29 goals.

This just illustrates even further how important it is for the Islanders to get him signed to a new contract extension before he is able to hit the open market on July 1. Tavares is one of the game’s elite offensive players and is capable of putting a team on his back in a way that few other players in the league can.

He looks to continue this scoring surge on Sunday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.