It’s only three games into the Islanders’ season, but John Tavares wants to get on with the task of moving the franchise forward. With the Stanley Cup runner-up Sharks coming to Barclays Center on Tuesday night, there’s no time like the present.
“I just would like to have some more success,’’ Tavares said Monday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow. “You just want to take advantage of all of these years and the group of guys we have. Being 26 now, I still got a lot of good years ahead of me, I believe, and want to keep finding ways to get better. But certainly, this is my eighth season and have only been to the second round once [last season]. It’s hard to get there, so you want to take advantage of that.’’
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The Sharks are 2-1 after Monday night’s loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. “Obviously, a very good team, a lot of experience, a lot of talent,’’ Tavares said. “They added some more depth to their team, so you know we know what to expect, what they’re about. We have to be at our best.’’
Tavares scored his first goal and point of the season in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Ducks. “I’ve felt I’ve had a lot of chances, guys on my line, as well, so it was nice to finally put one in,’’ he said.
Of course, the fans expect Tavares to score every game.
“It is what it is,’’ he said. “I don’t think I really worry about it a whole lot, just try to play my game. I know I’m counted on to put the puck in the net. I’ve had my chances, so I think that’s a good thing. Trust myself that those are going to go in, so just try to keep creating.’’
Jack Capuano realizes the expectations for his star. “There’s no question, our team is going to go as 91 goes,’’ he said. “He’s the captain of our team, he’s an elite player. Sometimes he gets frustrated. At times, you go a couple of games without a point, but the thing I really respect about Johnny, he’s a team-first guy. He’d rather win the Stanley Cup, obviously, than to lead the league in scoring.
“But at the same time — let’s not kid ourselves — guys around the league, the great players, they look at what other guys are doing, and I know John. He’s one of those guys, and I want him to look at those other players and what they’re doing.’’
Notes & quotes: Capuano said X-rays revealed “good news’’ about Casey Cizikas, who was hit in the leg with a puck Sunday against the Ducks, but added that his status won’t be known until Tuesday.