Steve Simmons is back with another controversial take. When he isn’t making known to everyone that Auston Matthews has been diagnosed with COVID-19, he apparently likes to bash the Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain, John Tavares.
The reporter is now under fire after he wrote an article in the Toronto Sun, entitled “An ordinary John Tavares in the playoffs isn’t what the Maple Leafs are paying for.”
While part of his analysis on Tavares’ performances over the course of the past two seasons, ever since he signed a blockbuster deal as a free agent and left the New York Islanders behind, is spot on, some Maple Leafs fans are upset with the fact that he is being compared with Mat Barzal, saying the Isles’ forward has passed Tavares in terms of expectations, including the postseason…
When called out on social media, Stevens demanded that his take be taken in context of his 900-word article, but fans just went on to mock him.
Here is the full bit on Tavares, Barzal and many other top players around the league:
“But the Leafs have needed it to be more than that for the past two post-seasons. They needed a rising stock. In 12 games, seven playoffs, five pre-real-playoffs, he has eight points. That’s a 55-point pace. That’s not good enough.
That’s not what Brayden Point did for Tampa Bay on its way to a Stanley Cup. Point had 33 points in 23 games. That’s not what Nathan MacKinnon managed for Colorado. He had 25 points in 15 games.
That’s nowhere near what Elias Pettersson or Bo Horvat accomplished for Vancouver, or what Sebastian Aho scored with Carolina, Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Columbus, Mathew Barzal for the Islanders.
All of them centres. All of them now advanced beyond Tavares as a Leaf.
Look around today’s NHL, where Tavares is the fifth-highest paid player in the league, and he would not be ranked among the top 10 centres. Closer to 20 probably.”
While Simmons is trying to make a good point here, fans are focused on the fact that he appears to hate Toronto. And maybe he should be the one covering the Montreal Canadiens instead. Check out some great tweets about Simmons and his controversial words on Tavares and the Leafs: