Sport: Stamkos, Tavares not sold on NHL playoff format - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

SportStamkos, Tavares not sold on NHL playoff format

20:20  12 march  2019
20:20  12 march  2019 Source:   thescore.com

Tavares on Long Island return: 'I really embraced being an Islander'

Tavares on Long Island return: 'I really embraced being an Islander' After leaving the New York Islanders for his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer, John Tavares will finally return to Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night. "I grew a lot in my time there and really thankful for the impact a lot of people had on me," Tavares said on Tuesday, according to TSN's Mark Masters. "I'm not trying to overthink it. I just try and go out there and be myself and play and help the Maple Leafs." Tavares gave the Islanders new life, and his decision to leave cuts deep among fans of a team that hasn't experienced much success in several decades.

Stamkos, Tavares not sold on NHL playoff format© Jared Silber / National Hockey League / Getty

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Toronto Maple Leafs star John Tavares chimed in on Monday regarding one of the hottest topics among NHL fans and media - the league's playoff format.

When asked about the structure, Stamkos used the Lightning's Atlantic Division rivals as a prime example of the division-based format hurting some of the league's top teams.

"I don’t think it’s an advantage to Toronto or Boston (who will likely meet in the first round),'' Stamkos said, according to the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran. ''What could be the top three teams in the whole league from one division, and have to play that team in the first round - I don’t think that’s right.”

Jilted Islanders Fans Have Harsh Words For John Tavares In Extremely Long Island Video

Jilted Islanders Fans Have Harsh Words For John Tavares In Extremely Long Island Video Thursday is a very special day in Nassau County. John Tavares returns to the Coliseum (where the Islanders are playing half their home dates, because that Brooklyn thing really isn’t working out) for the first time since leaving the Isles after nine seasons and signing with the Maple Leafs. But it’s not happening under the circumstances most would’ve expected last summer. The surprising Islanders are in first place in the Metro—Tavares’s exit has not left the team nearly so bereft as predicted—and so, the erstwhile captain comes back to a fan base that isn’t merely heartbroken, though they are that, but is feeling pretty damned feisty about it.

The format doesn't bode well for Tampa Bay, either, as the team will face the winner of the probable Toronto-Boston series if it advances to the second round. Last season, the Lightning finished atop the Eastern Conference with 113 points and were forced to meet the second-place Bruins in the second round.

"I understand where (the league) is coming from, (from) a marketing perspective, wanting to get some rivalries early on," Stamkos added, "(but) from a (team) perspective of what you’re grinding 82 games for during a season is to finish as high as you can so you can have an advantage come playoffs."

Stamkos' good friend and a Canadian Olympic teammate in Tavares took his usual diplomatic approach on the issue, but did point out that the format impacts one advantage that teams work hard to acquire.

John Tavares booed mercilessly by Islanders fans in return to Nassau Coliseum

John Tavares booed mercilessly by Islanders fans in return to Nassau Coliseum John Tavares left the Islanders to sign a seven-year, $77 million contract with the Maple Leafs this offseason. He said he knew he was going to be in a hostile environment, but expressed excitement for Thursday's matchup between two potential playoff teams. "It's hard to believe we're back here for an NHL hockey game, a game that has a lot of meaning," he said, via TSN. "Certainly, the set-up is a little different, but it's a special building. I love this place.

“Mostly, it affects home ice," Tavares said of potentially starting on the road despite finishing third in the conference. "It’s odd. It’s unusual. At the same time, if you want to get to the ultimate prize, you’ve got to beat some really good teams - the best teams in the league, the best players in the world. Whether that comes early or later on, you’ve got to find a way to do it.”

The Maple Leafs opened last year's postseason on the road in Boston despite finishing tied with the third-best point total in the Eastern Conference.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Push for the Playoffs: Coyotes’ losing streak putting playoff hopes in danger.
The Coyotes need to snap their five-game losing streak to keep their playoff hopes alive.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!