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Tomas Tatar: another difficult start to the playoffs

Tomas Tatar is a rather unusual field hockey player. In the regular season, we’re talking about a guy who does a very honest job on a second or third line, but in the playoffs, for one reason or another, it’s a completely different story.

That was the case with the Red Wings, it was the case with the Golden Knights and it was the case with the CH, where he spent the bulk of the team’s playoff run in the summer of 2021 in the stands.

Now with the Devils, Tatar is back in the playoffs this season. But even if the sample size is small, it’s clear that he’s off to another rocky start in his team’s spring campaign.

Of course, the Devils are currently being taught a field hockey lesson by the Rangers, but beyond all that, it’s clear that the Slovak’s playing time is already in freefall. In Game #2, he spent just 11 minutes and 24 seconds on the ice, which is far less than the 15 minutes he averaged per game on the ice during the season.

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt about his -2 differential, given his club’s poor overall performance, but it’s still a far cry from the +41 he posted during the campaign.

In his career, Tatar has just 12 points in 42 playoff games. That said, he has 455 points in 783 regular-season games. That’s night and day, no less.

If the Devils are to bounce back in this series, it’s going to take a lot of hard work from everyone, including Tatar. The goaltending change could whip the troops into shape, but it will take more than a goal a game if the Devils are to respond to the Rangers’ offensive firepower.

I don’t know if he’s just caught up in a spiral (his past playoff failures may be getting into his head), but it’s clearly a career-long trend that seems to be continuing.

I wonder if Lindy Ruff will be patient with him if he puts in another tough performance tonight.

We’ll have to wait and see over the next few games of the series. It’s up to him to prove that he can stand up when it counts, especially as the Devils really need him right now.

Breaking news

– Great read.

– Réjean Tremblay wants Pierre-Luc Dubois in Montreal as soon as possible. [JDM]

– Impressive.

– Too bad.

– Bryce Harper could have an exceptional feat of arms. My text on the subject.

– Once again, Kawhi Leonard is getting attention for all the wrong reasons, as I noted earlier on AlleyOop360.

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