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 ET / 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 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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