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Tavares on first series: ‘I’ll be thinking about it all summer’

May 11, 2013, 11:44 PM EDT

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John Tavares and the New York Islanders earned more than a few admirers during their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they ultimately lost in six games. Tavares told ESPN’s Katie Strang that his first taste of postseason action will just push him harder in preparation for 2013-14.

“I’ll be thinking about it all summer,” Tavares said.

Tavares, 22, scored nearly a point-per-game in the playoffs (five in six contests) after producing similar work in the regular season (47 points in 48 games).

Beyond the numbers, the budding star often traded highlight reel chances and clever offensive flourishes with Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

Tavares’ team didn’t come out on top, yet the Islanders’ strong play hinted that the future could be brighter.

  1. bohman88 - May 12, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    He’ll be back.

  2. kingsfan68 - May 12, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Great series I like both teams fun to watch. … but they won’t beat the kings of either were to have met them. …

    • manchestermiracle - May 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      It would certainly be interesting to see how the Pens offense fares against a lock-down defense like the Kings’.

  3. ohiosteelerfan1980 - May 12, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Kingsfan it’s too bad the pens failed to make it to the cup last year. Unfortunately due to the strike were not sure how the east matches up against the west because of no out of conference games this year. I’ll give you this, you are the reigning champs but the hawks look pretty impressive. If and I mean if we have a pens vs kings cup final I definitely believe it would be a great series. Good luck to your kings and go pens!

  4. hazlydose - May 12, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Tavares played great in this series after bouncing back from a pounding he took in game 1. The kid’s going to have a bright future and lead to Islanders on some deep playoff runs in the future.

  5. chanceoffleury1 - May 12, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    He should definitely keep his head up.The Islanders came in as the hottest team and there was nothing else they could really do to change this outcome. It’s just the way the cookie crumbled. At the end of the day there was a very big reason why the Isles, Sens, and Rangers were all doing everything possible to make sure they weren’t the 8th seed playing Pittsburgh in the first round. Games 1 and 5 are what people expect out of the Pens, but I think situations like Games 3 and 6 are what really made/makes teams so desperate to avoid them. They play like absolute crap but still pull the win out of their ass. There were times when the only way to explain the Penguins play was that they were intentionally trying to see how bad they could perform and still come away with the W. This series had to be emotionally exhausting for the Islanders. I was never a fan of theirs at all, but I gained a lot of respect for them this series. You can’t help but tip your hat to a team that never says die.

  6. bobhpine - May 12, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Tavares acquitted himself very well. He got thrashed in game one, had zero shots and after Morrow planted him, he looked like he wanted no part of the playoffs; but he came back so strong and led his team well. The Pens just had way too much talent. When they played poorly they either lost by a goal or won by a goal. When they played well the score was 5-0 and 4-0.

    As a Pens fan, I want no part of the Isles next year though.

  7. bcisleman - May 12, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Vokoun was the difference in this series. If Pens had the same backup as last year or if Isles had Thomas dressed, Pens are emptying lockers, not the Isles.

  8. benrob99 - May 12, 2013 at 6:03 AM

    Gained a lot of respect for Tavares and the Isles. They played hard and gave the Pens everything they wanted. Isles will be a scary team in the future. Need to shore up the goalie. As for the Pens, I think a series like this does nothing but help them moving forward.

  9. jaybaileys - May 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    Tavares has nothing to be ashamed about. The Isles need a franchise goalie and they will be contenders for the next decade. The kid had a rough game 1 but bounced back like an MVP candidate. I was very impressed.

    • drone501 - May 12, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      other than tavares they were a no name team but a very good team. i was impresses as hell. don’t think ottawa can play the pens any tougher.

    • manchestermiracle - May 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Think Garth Snow is talking to Dean Lombardi about Jonathan Bernier? I wonder what the Isles would be willing to give up for him…

      • zico25 - May 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        A whole bunch of draft picks, and maybe a roster player of value. None of the Isles core guys will be traded for Bernier if that is the route they go for goaltending.

  10. ironcity6pak - May 12, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    I have to hand it to the isles for playing so hard and making it very tough for the pens. Ill admit the pens didnt deserve to win that game but the team that played better on the PP and in the net won. Now for Tavares, this kid will only get better and will be fighting at the top with Crosby every year for MVP but lets look at the big picture. If this was a full season would the isles have made the playoffs?

  11. steelers88 - May 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    This is nothing to be ashamed of they just took the #1 seed to 6 and almost 7 games. This is a learning experience I believe the Islanders will be even better next year.

  12. csilojohnson - May 12, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Ifs are pointless..

  13. modellforprez - May 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    While i now despise your fan base like Filthadelphs and some others you really cant deny this teams core players are very good. i knew that from the regular season but they turned it up in the postseason and Just like the pens had every opp. to win. i seriously expect the isles to be around for a while meaning every postseason if they play like that.

  14. mattymarts17 - May 12, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    It was awesome seeing the team you grew up loving that everyone made fun if show up big time on a national team. Playoff hockey is an entire different animal and now not only has the young core experienced it, the young coaching staff and gm (I know he isn’t young literally) see what’s necessary to compete for the cup. IMO the isles out skated the Pens for a lot of this series. Two overtime Wins the Pens squeezed out could of easily of went to the isles. All that being said the Penguins are scary good when they want to be and made a good isles team look horrible twice this series. Good luck to all the Pens fans and THANK YOU NYIs for making hockey in May wonderful for us again.

    • mattymarts17 - May 12, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      Lol first PHT comment… Tons of grammatical errors. Do your best lol

    • drone501 - May 12, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      thank you matty your team has a great future and with a new arena the skys the limit.

    • crashtheboards55 - May 12, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      As a Pens fan this series was one I did not want and the Isles showed why. Bottom line the Pens were very lucky to win. As a hockey fan, I loved watching the Isles. No quit in this bunch at all. Great hockey all around. Playoff hockey is the best. If I am voting for MVP Tavares would get my vote. Crosby is unreal and everyone knows it whether people like him or not. Tavares willed his team to the playoffs and carried this team the whole year. Again great hockey and the Isles ahowd how hard work and heart can take talent to the brink of elimination.

  15. killerpgh - May 12, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Last year Malkin had a stat line of 6 gp, 3 goals, 5 assist, 8 points, -1 and 26 shots on goal and people love to say he was shut down last year against the Flyers. Tavares stat line this series was 6 gp, 3 goals, 2 assist, 5 pts, -4, and 21 sog and people are praising him. Not trying to take a shot at JT as he is a great talent, but it’s just funny how people view Malkin performance against the Flyers last year.

    • mattymarts17 - May 12, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Don’t be so bitter bro, you guys won, the flyers aren’t even in the playoffs. Be happy you’re watching your team still.

      • killerpgh - May 12, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        What part came off as bitter? I’m not bitter at all. And after the past few playoff series I am thankful/happy to be able to still watching my favorite team playing. With so much parity within the league anything can happen in a 7 game series.

  16. taylorgang24 - May 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    There were like 60 goals in that flyers series. And Malkins expectations ought to be higher than Tavares’.

  17. dkphilly1122 - May 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Tavares is a stud……..definitely one of the best players in the game if not the best player……this as a Flyers fan. He is just 22…….and has shown he continues to evolve at such a young age…..wait til he turns 24, 25, 26…….MVP’s in the future for sure if not this year. Without him the Isles woulda never even hung with Pittsburgh or made the post season.

  18. jdrew506 - May 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Don’t worry Modell while you might despise the Islander fan base, most fans outside of Pitt despises the penguins fan base.

  19. girouxed - May 12, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    He’ll be thinking about it and he’ll also be thinking about all the zeros in his bank account

  20. Anthony Maiorana - May 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Just like Columbus, the Islanders were a big surprise this season. I think most of the fans around the league would’ve liked to see them get past Pittsburgh. It was a long shot, but they really looked like they could’ve had a chance in the middle games. If the penguins had left Fleury in net they would’ve been in trouble, but Vokun saved their series.

    A tough loss for the Isles but like everyone’s said this makes it seem like the Islanders will be real competition next season. It should be interesting to watch them and the Blue Jackets become Cup contenders.

  21. wisdomnfl - May 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Modell is no Pitt fan FYI.

  22. crashtheboards55 - May 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Great showing by the Isles. This team showed great heart and desire. As a Pens fan I feel they got the short end of the stick. They outplayed the Pens but fell short in the end. They are going to be a great team in the very near future.

  23. csilojohnson - May 12, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Rare show of Good sportsmanship on this hate filled msg board marty.
    Look forward to reading some positive, and insightful comments in the future.
    Isles will be a force for a long time.
    That series couldve gone either way. I’m sure there will be more to come for Pens-Isles.

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