The best thing for John Tavares might be to play wing, but that opens up a big hole at center

Last fall I might have been a bit premature in beating the “move John Tavares to wing” drum, and to some extent, a 76 point in 79 game season points to JT doing just fine at center this year so I’ll accept that we weren’t quite there yet. Now things have changed a little. Most significantly there was a spike in GA/60 against the Tavares line this season. There was a notable trend upwards on xGA/60, and a modest increase in CA/60 as well. Defensively a step backward was taken. Tavares’ line was also more offensive, but not enough that it balanced out to a favourable goal differential. While high event hockey is by definition fun, and the Tavares line was getting its chances, the outcomes raise some concerns.
There’s also something to be said for the way Tavares plays the center role. He’s never had much in the way of speed or physicality, two hallmarks of what you’d hope to put in the center of the ice, but his smarts and positi …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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