FanPost

Phil Kessel: Year Two (What To Expect)

With the summer months wedged perfectly in the middle of July and August, and training cap set to open in no time, I figure now is the perfect time to weigh in on how Phil Kessel will fair next season.  What can we expect from Phil the Thrill?  Is 40 goals a possibility?  Well, let me see.


Last season, Kessel managed to hit the 30 goal mark for the second time in his career.  He had his second best season as a pro, with 30 goals, 25 assists, and 55 points on a Leafs team which never found consistency in the offense or mediocrity on the defensive side of things.  What is even more impressive is that he was only 6 goals and five points away from matching what he did with Boston only a year earlier, with players such as Marc Savard, David Krejci, and Milan Lucicat his disposal.  Considering last year was spent with either Tyler Bozak, Matt Stajan, or Mikhail Grabovski centering him, with Nikolai Kulemin at his wing, to be so close to his career season is a very bright spot.

 

So what can we expect next year?  Well, with the addition of Versteeg and Armstrong, I think we can expect Kessel to improve on his output next season (barring injuries).  Even if Versteeg or Armstrong don't play with him, the secondary scoring/physical edge/defensive push will not force opposing defenses to put all of their time and energy on stopping Kessel alone, which seemed to be done towards the latter end of last season.  The influx of these players should give Kessel more time and space to work, and with his creativity, should result in more offense.

 

Is 40 goals impossible?  I think it remains a possibility, if Kessel can remain healthy and his chemistry with Boak remains, why not?  If Kulemin can further his game even more, or Armstrong and Versteeg can be even more of an asset to Kessel, 40 goals is more and more realistic.  Personally, I believe he will net over 30, less than 40, with a season of about 70 points.  It won't be his breakout year per se, but I think it has all of the makings to be a career season for Phil the Thrill.  And with his salary set to go up 1.5 mil, I sure hope he elevates his game to where his contract is.

 

Since joining SB Nation I have really only heard about these extended statistics such as Corsi and the like and am quite bummed that I do not have a great grasp on these stats, since I would have loved to have had some better statistical backing for this.  Anyways, I'll get right on learning them so I can make my future FanPosts better.  Is there any website which I can go to which explains each advanced statistic and what they are?  Any help would be great.

 

Leave your comments below as to how you think Kessel will do.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker