Sometimes hockey players appear to have the emotional capacity of a hockey stick. Rarely will they show a chink in their armour, especially when it comes to rivalries. They’re trained to stay tough and not show weakness.
Saying that, it’s not like they don’t feel the sting of a big loss, and sometimes you even get to see a little bit of that human side. Following the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders, former Isles captain John Tavares didn’t hide that it was upsetting to lose that particular game.
To make matters worse for JT, Mathew Barzal – who many see stepping into the shoes of Tavares – had a fantastic game, potting three goals for the Isles. That doesn’t mean he’s a better player than Tavares, but it would be satisfying for Isles fans to see “the student become the master” in a manner of speaking.
Tavares was with the Isles for nine years, and his sudden departure to the Toronto Maple Leafs surprised many hockey fans. For the Islanders’ faithful, it hurt.
There’s no doubt Islanders Nation is particularly happy about this win, and you can bet they’ll feel that level of emotion when playing against Tavares for the rest of his career.
That feeling will likely be reciprocated.