FanPost

Can The Leafs Get More Out of Kessel?

I'm not sure how many of you Maple Leafs fans have checked out the work I've been doing lately on EOTP, but I thought I'd extend my methodology to a Leafs player to see if it generates some interest. I don't have as much insight into Phil Kessel as you guys do, so I'll be displaying a graphic, explaining what I think is going on, and hopefully you all will add a bunch of insight.

Using timeonice.com's game by game scripts, I've graphed 5 years worth of 10 game rolling averages of Kessel's Fenwick%, offensive zone start%, and his team's Fenwick%. I've also added trendlines for each stat, so you can see broadly how things have changed for him.

The y-axis is set to the beginning of last season, so you can compare it to his previous ones, and the x-axis is set at even possession (50%).

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Because SBN downgrades images, and this one is huge and pretty busy, here's an imgur link so you can zoom and see everything in detail.

For 5 years Kessel has been significantly below his team's average possession, which is shocking considering how good of a player he is. Clearly he's talented enough that he can outscore his possession to a certain extent, but I find it hard to believe that a player as good as he is to the eye (and production wise) is this bad.

The biggest separation for Kessel comes in the last two years in Toronto, most of which he's spent playing with Tyler Bozak. Kessel may not outperform his 82 point season in 2012-13, but he could put up similar numbers while contributing more in non-scoring ways if he's given a better center to work with. James van Riemsdyk might by that guy, but I'm inclined to think that if anything, JVR could provide the depth necessary to try Kessel with Mikhail Grabovski.

What do you think?

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.

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