In a season where the Penguins scoring has been consistently inconsistent, America’s favorite sweetheart, Phil Kessel, has been there to carry them. He’s providing a much needed jolt of point production.
Kessel’s hot start could not have came at a better time as the Penguins have seen a dip in goals scored by their star leader, Sidney Crosby.
Now hold your horses, Crosby has not lost his touch or declined in a play. He’s suffered from the negative side of what we here in the business call “puck luck”. Crosby has just had some bad puck luck, but he’s playing the right way and the goals will come.
The same thing happened about 2 or 3 seasons ago when everyone pointed out that Crosby wasn’t scoring. He ended up top 5 in points that year.
Matter of fact, the floodgates might have just been opened now that he scored Tuesday night. Let’s get back to the matter at hand though, and that’s Phil Kessel.
Most teams would suffer heavily from a lack up scoring from their best player. The Penguins should be no different, but Kessel has stepped up to the plate and delivered some of his best play during his stay as a Penguin.
Don’t believe me? Kessel is averaging the highest points per game of his career right now, not just as a Penguin, but in his entire career! Think about that, he doesn’t even have to be the top guy like he was on other teams, and yet he’s scoring like he is.
Kessel is 6th in the NHL in points, and it’s no mistake why he’s a top of that list. I can even think of a reasons because.
-He’s comfortable knowing his role. I know it’s his 3rd year here already but after moving around a couple lines, he know’s when to give and take, figuring out what’s best for business. This includes his role on the power play.
-I really think his relationship with Ryan Reaves has helped leaps and bounds for this team. I’m not exactly sure as to why, but when you just hit it off away from the ice the way these two have, it affects you on the ice.
They have a dynamic duo feel about them, partners in crime from your favorite movie. Like a Scooby Doo and Shaggy, Wayne and Garth, or SpongeBob and Patrick vibe. From playing basketball to playing pranks on road trips, the camaraderie has helped.
-The chemistry he has now with Evgeni Malkin is uncanny. You can’t measure how well these 2 have meshed this season. After throwing them on a line 2 seasons ago, things didn’t workout, but this year is a different story, and it’s benefitting both greatly.
Leaps and valleys always occur, but if Kessel can maintain his rapid production while Crosby is now about to go on his tear, the Penguins are not to be reckoned with. Though they haven’t been at their best yet, Phil Kessel has.
Everyone needs this shirt.