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What the Islanders' success means for John Tavares' future

John Tavares and the Islanders have turned things around, and it could mean the budding superstar sticks around in New York for years to come. AP

When things were going really slowly for the Islanders in November and early December, it was hard for center John Tavares to look at the big picture. The New York Islanders weren’t playing particularly well, they weren’t getting results and they were languishing behind other teams in the East. So there wasn’t a lot of motivation to look at the standings on a daily basis. Plus, Tavares has a personal philosophy that he doesn’t really start tracking the playoff race until the All-Star break.

“That’s the big turning point; that’s the hint that the stretch run is coming,” Tavares said.

Doug Weight added urgency.

He started posting the standings right after he was promoted to replace Jack Capuano as the Islanders' coach in January. Maybe it was an appeal to the pride of the players in the room with a reminder of where they ranked in the league.