Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/27/10 at 01:51 PM ET
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Based on his performance thus far, Phil Kessel could be in contention for the Hart as MVP and the Maurice Richard Trophy which was introduced in 1999 and goes to the player (or players) who leads the NHL in goal-scoring.
With seven goals in eight games, Kessel is right in the thick of things where the Maurice Richard is concerned. Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks are tied for the league lead in goals with eight apiece while Kessel, Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks and Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks trail by one with seven each. For what it’s worth, Kessel has a game in hand on Sedin and two on Hossa.
There are some players that get off to good starts in a season, but you just know they will eventually hit the wall. For instance, does anyone really expect Clarke MacArthur of the Leafs to continue scoring at nearly a goal-per-game pace? Even Sharp and Sedin have both managed career highs of 36 goals in their careers so it would be a shock if they were to challenge for 50 this season.
It is abundantly clear that if he remains healthy, Kessel will be the driving force behind the Maple Leafs’ offence. The 23-year-old Madison, WI, native is on pace for 72 goals this season.
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