Phil Kessel & Streaks

Derek Zona
February 07 2013 12:00PM



Phil Kessel is getting slammed by fans and the MSM and defended broadly in the Statosphere. Why? Kessel has played 10 games and hasn't tickled the twine. His first 42 shots on goal show nothing but a giant zero on the stat sheet. 

Should Leafs fans be worried?

Year Time Frame Shots
2011 January 11 - February 15 60
2010 January 2 - January 15 - x 42
2013 January 19 - February 5* 42
2008 January 3 - February 22 37
2010 November 27 - December 9 37
2009 December 16 - December 30 - x 30
2012 April 3 - April 7 24
2010 October 28 - November 10 21
2011 November 22 - December 6 20

* - active streak
x - Kessel scored one goal against Edmonton on December 30th, then went goalless through January 15th.  He had 1 goal on 73 shots over this time.

The table should give Leafs faithful some comfort. Kessel's current streak doesn't come close to his all-time longest drought from 2011, and he's had three other very similar streaks, two as a member of the Leafs. Cold streaks happen, even to good players.

It's worth noting, however, that Kessel ended 2012 going 0-24. Added to this year's streak, he's taken 66 shots since he last scored a goal. That said, if he continues to get pucks on goal they will start finding the twine eventually.

#1 mclotty
February 07 2013, 03:04PM
Trash it!

I'm not sure about Kessel getting slammed.

The fact is he is a sniper that is not scoring. If Reimer is letting too many goals in or if Kostka or Phanuef is getting blown by too many skaters or if Orr loses too many fights then people will question that player. Kessel is no different in that way. However, he is different in that he is an elite skilled player whereas most of these others are not at that level with their hockey.

Also Kulemin had similar struggles to Kessel last year but Kulemin is not the offensive star of the leafs (and contributes in other ways with strong defensive play and hitting). And in addition, Kulemin salary is not in the league of Kessels. And finally, I think the bigger issue is that people/media are more ticked off about the "trade" more then anything else.

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