"Guys, I’m pretty good. Deal with it."
If you mention Phil Kessel to a Leafs fan there is so much that you might hear in response. What likely won’t get top billing is that he’s one of nine NHLers to hit 30 goals each of the past three seasons, that he has the 16th most goals in the NHL over that period, and it sure as hell won’t be that mathematical simulations can show that Kessel’s not a streaky goal scorer.
More likely, it’ll be that he piles up his points onc the result is no longer in doubt. Which made me wonder, just how his points broke down last year. So after the jump, I have a graphic.
The legend is pretty simple: CD 2+: Cut deficit to 2 or more goals, CD 1: Cut deficit to 1, TIE: Tied the game up, 1GL: Gave Toronto 1 goal lead, 2GL: Gave Toronto a two or more goal lead.
|Opponent||CD 2+||CD 1||TIE||1GL||2GL||CD 2+||CD 1||TIE||1GL||2GL|
There are a few things I’ve pulled out of the table. Before going on I’d note that there’s a lot of room to build on this quick study and I might actually do that at some point. It would be good to compare this breakdown to other Leafs as well as across the league.
"Hey guys, just another important goal"
Phil Kessel may not dig the team out of deep holes but if he is involved in a goal then there’s a good chance that it either helped tie the game or give the Leafs the lead. 16 of his 32 goals came in that situation as well as 22 of his 32 assists.
Flat Track Bully?
Kessel also did not simply pad his stats by loading up on points against the league’s bottom feeders. Note: I realise how funny that is to type considering I am talking about the Leafs’ opponents. 17 of his 32 goals came against playoff teams as did 19 of his 32 assists.
The Leafs actually did well within their division and a big part of that was due to Kessel’s 22 points. Kessel picked up 12 goals and 10 assists in the games against the Bruins, Sabres, Canadiens, and the 67s. Sure, it’s not quite fair that he got to play games against essentially an OHL lineup but this year the entire league gets the same benefit so it evens out.
This is a pretty familiar sight for Ottawa’s goalies