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Simmons discusses Kessel’s pluses and minuses

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons offers a unique take on one of the Toronto Maple Leafs' most important players using a statistical metric, which is...Interesting...given that this particular metric is poo-poohed by the advanced stats crowd that Simmons has so very often gone to-to-toe with:

The Phil Kessel Factor has become an absolute, stunning telling point with the up-and-down Maple Leafs. Consider these numbers:

When the enigmatic Kessel has a plus game — which means he is on the ice for more goals scored than given up at even strength — the Leafs have a breathtaking won-loss record of 11-0-1. That’s .958 hockey, almost perfect.

When the defensively disinterested Kessel has a minus game, which has been the case in 43% of Leafs games heading into Saturday night, Toronto has won just four of 17 encounters, with a 4-11-2 record. That’s .294 hockey. That’s lottery-pick territory.

When Kessel is an even player, the Leafs are 6-4, which is sound enough. What has become clear in this strange season of searching for identity is that the great gaps the Leafs have between victories and defeats, between streaks in either direction, centre so much around the best players on their roster, beginning with the leading scorer and highest paid player, Kessel.

His singular impact with the Leafs, both positively and negatively, demonstrates how much the club depends on him and how the defensive play of he and his linemates must become more diligent for the Leafs to become any factor at all.

Simmons continues, discussing the cost of World Junior hockey, the Florida Panthers, the aforementioned Maple Leafs and other sports topics...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel, toronto+maple+leafs

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com