Kats Krunch: Phil Kessel Profile


    A quick profile of the newest Leafs forward, and an excerpt from the McKeen’s Yearbook. For those in the Vancouver area, I kick off a monthly segment as a guest on Sportstalk Weekends with Rick Quinton on AM980 CKNW tonight .. we’ll be discussing this deal and giving you all a fantasy primer for your drafts.

    Kats Krunch:
    Had surgery for a torn rotator cuff and labrum in his shoulder requiring 4-6 mths recovery in May .. parlayed an impressive run in the playoffs 2008, to become only Bruin with 30-plus goals on way to career highs across the board .. scored game’s first goal seven times .. led the NHL with a career-best 18-game point streak (18-14-14-28) – fifth longest in Bruins history -from Nov/Dec (scoring 39% of his goals), longest streak by Bruin since Adam Oates (20 straight) .. missed six games with mononucleosis in Jan. 13-27, ending club’s longest current iron-man streak at 167 regular season games .. previous game missed followed testicular cancer diagnosis and surgery .. struggled upon return with one assist in the following 10 games, including a six-game skid, worst of the season .. missed six of the final nine games, but ended with a hat trick and four point effort .. was 1-for-8 in shootouts (10-for-28 career, 9 game-deciding) .. five-game playoff point streak was snapped in Game 2 vs Carolina (5-4-4-8) .. had a whopping whole 6 hits in the regular season and one in the playoffs ( a cause for concern).

    Undersized speedster with excellent top gear, first step acceleration and dynamic change of pace .. slick stickhandler, using opportunistic positioning to exploit open space .. drives hard towards defenders before a quick dangle and bullet wrist shot .. countless times was sent in alone seemingly from high visibility areas on the ice and completely fooled defensemen .. a big threat at even strength, scoring eight PP goals, but finding the net in clutch times, with only two empty-netters .. off season surgery coming off a career year are sure signs of depleted production next season .. falls to 20 goals upon return retroactive to his return.

    Excerpt from McKeen’s Hockey Pool Yearbook:

    Busted out with a team-high 36 goals and may have climbed even higher if not for a two-month slump from January to March (20-2-5-7) which included a six-game layoff due to a bout of mono .. a consistent force in the opening half as he ran up a league-best 18-game consecutive point streak (14-14-28) .. flashy, smallish dynamo with lightning-fast feet and hands .. backs defenders up with his dynamic acceleration and top gear .. a lethal weapon when driving courageously at defenders and striving to unleash his bullet wristshot that features an explosive release .. however, he still tends to operate in a bubble at times, overhandling the puck and not integrating linemates effectively .. can appear tentative and not always willing to make the necessary sacrifices .. went just 1-for-8 in shootouts last season after leading the league in `07-8 with five game-deciding goals .. sidelined for six of the final nine regular-season games due to a shoulder injury which required surgery in May to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum .. will likely miss up to a month of the season recovering

    Some other numbers to consider:
    Scoring 14 goals in 18 games, 39% of his goals.
    Leaves 20 goals in 52 games the rest of the way (.422 goals/gm)
    But, he scored 3 in the final game, making it 19 goals in 51 games (.372 gls/gm)
    Only scored 2 goals in 20 game span, therefore scoring 17 goals in 31 gms (.548 gls/gm)
    Had four two-goal games last season.
    Had a 14-game goalless skid from Jan 6-Feb-22.