Tavares gets some revenge on Islanders, fans at Nassau

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“Living well is the best revenge,” and John Tavares has been doing his part with a strong first season as a member of the Maple Leafs. He got a little direct revenge against the Islanders and their heckling fans on Monday, though.

John Tavares didn’t just set a new career-high for points with 87 when he scored a goal against his former team, beefing up what was already a career-high for goals to 46. That tally ended up being the game-winner, as the Maple Leafs beat the Islanders 2-1.

(You can see the goal, and understandably bummed out Islanders fans, in the video above.)

That milestone moment helped the Maple Leafs clinch a spot in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It also greatly hindered the Islanders’ chances of winning the Metropolitan Division, although the Washington Capitals failed to clinch that, as they lost 5-3 to the Florida Panthers on Monday.

Really, that might have been TOO MUCH STORYLINE, as Tavares spiting Islanders fan already ranks as a lot. TSN’s Karen Shilton points out that Tavares now has a goal against every team in the NHL, as if we needed a reminder that he’s been a dominant player.

Now, it’s not accurate to say that anyone’s had the “last laugh” here. The Maple Leafs could very well face the Islanders in a series during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and if not, each team plans on remaining in the picture for years to come. So, instead, this is another chapter in what’s become a juicy, if not always particularly mature, story.

This result sets another series in stone: the Maple Leafs will face the Boston Bruins in the first round once again, with Boston looking almost certain to hold home-ice advantage.

In other news from this game, it seemed like Auston Matthews was shaken up after blocking a shot, but he was able to remain in the contest, so the Maple Leafs seemed to dodge a bullet.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.