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Made of Iron

John Tavares brings a new meaning to everyday NHLer, as he suits up for his 228th straight game Saturday.

Friday, 11.15.2013 / 3:29 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Made of Iron
John Tavares brings a new meaning to everyday NHLer, as he suits up for his 228th straight game Saturday.

Long Island held its breath Tuesday, as Islanders captain John Tavares left the ice after falling awkwardly into the boards. Tavares acknowledged that his hip was sore, but number 91 was in his rightful place Thursday night, centering the Islanders top line for the 227th consecutive game.

Tavares is the Islanders reigning ironman and hasn’t missed a game since sitting out three in a row from Oct. 11-15, 2010. Playing in his fifth season, the Isles current leading scorer has only missed three games.

“John is a really tough player and high-skill guys don’t always get credit for that,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “His battle-level is always high and he’s willing to get in the dirty areas and do whatever it takes every night.”

For an elite player who plays big minutes and draws some of the toughest attention from opposing defenses, his ironman streak is even more impressive. There’s a lot of work that goes into keeping himself healthy and fit to play.

“It’s not just going out to practice,” Tavares said. “I do a lot of things at home, which makes a big difference. Every year I try new things and try to improve.”

Tavares puts a lot of emphasis on his work and training regimen away from the ice. He experiments with therapeutic measures like cold tubs, massages and infrared sauna. Tavares also strictly watches his diet and does yoga in the offseason.

His teammates take notice of how the captain takes care of himself. Over the summer, Kyle Okposo switched up his own training and also made a trip to Toronto to train with Tavares. Okposo happens to be enjoying a fantastic start to the season with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 20 games.

“He makes sure that his body is functioning in the best way that it can to play hockey,” Okposo said. “He’s a real professional in that sense. A lot of us can learn a lot from the way he trains and his body works.”

The workouts are essential to being in that hockey shape Okposo referenced, but so is listening to your body and allowing for adequate recovery. The workouts Tavares doesn’t do are sometimes just as important as the ones he does, exemplified by sitting out Wednesday’s practice.

“My first year showed me how important rest is,” he said. “As an organization we take a lot of pride in listening to your body and taking the correct protocol. Sometimes you really need to take that break, rest and truly take time to recover.”

Like Wednesday?

“Yeah, it helped big time,” he said. “I’m feeling pretty good today (Nov. 15) and I didn’t feel anything bad (last night).”

The ironman suits up for game 228 Saturday night at 7 p.m.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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