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The Puck Stops Here

MVP So Far

Earlier this season I picked Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars as the early season MVP.  While he remains the top goalie with a league leading win total and a goals against average and saves percentage among the top in the league with a very high number of shots against, he has been surpassed as league MVP by Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Kessel is off to a very good start.  He leads the league with 12 points in five games played.  His seven goals is also league leading.  His +7 +/- rating leads the NHL’s forwards.  He is off to a very good start.  Eleven teams in the league have 12 goals or less scored this season and Kessel by himself has been in on that many goals.

Toronto acquired Kessel in a high profile trade in a high profile trade with Boston in the summer of 2009.  He was traded for three draft picks, two of which were first round picks.  One was second overall in the draft.  Boston selected Tyler Seguin.  The other picks turned into Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight.  It is a ton of potential given up for Kessel.  If Kessel can play at this level he is clearly worth it.

He hasn’t played at anywhere near this high a level so far in his career.  His 64 points last season was his career best to this point.  If Kessel stays at that level it is quite likely that he won’t be worth the price the Leafs paid for him.  This season could be a breakout season where he becomes a superstar or it could be an unsustainable fast start.  It is unlikely that he remains the top scorer in the league, but this may be a break out season.  If that happens, Toronto could take a big step forward this season.

Phil Kessel is off to a very good start and is the early season MVP.  It is unlikely that he remains at this level all season, though he could have a breakout season.  If that happens, Toronto could take a big step forward this season.

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Comments

John W.'s avatar

I’d like to see a little more of the season from Kessel before we talk about a breakout season.  He started last year pretty hot too (7G his first 8 games), and then only 7 goals in his next 30 games.  I guess the question at this point in his career is, is he going to be a good 30-30 type of guy he has been, or step up to that 40-40 and beyond level that makes players great?

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 10/20/11 at 03:22 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Earlier this season

Errrr…it’s October 20

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/20/11 at 05:43 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Congratualtions on your calendar reading ability.  Would you like to discuss hockey or calendars?

Hint.  This is not a calendar blog.  if that is your answer perhaps you should find one of them.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 10/20/11 at 06:01 PM ET

Avatar

Would you like to discuss hockey or calendars?

Can we do that here? Do you have any sabermetrics that we can use to compare calendars? Gregorian vs. Chinese for example? How about New Year’s starts?

Who’s your nominee for the early Jack Adams award winner?

And “Congratualtions” on your spelling ability! Thanks again for such an awesome blog!

Posted by Seaner on 10/20/11 at 06:18 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

I personally prefer a Fiscal calendar. 

And I still can’t believe you’re predicting MVP candidates based off of such a small sample size.  Players have hot and cold streaks all the time.

By your own process, can we assume that Ty Conklin will go 20-0 with 1.00 save pct-0.00 GAA, and 20 shutouts?  Vezina for sure.  not bad for a backup goalie.  Why on Earth would the Wings start him over Jimmy Howard who is sure to go 62-0 with 20 shutouts of his own sporting a 1.63 GAA

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 10/21/11 at 10:56 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

By your own process, can we assume that Ty Conklin will go 20-0 with 1.00 save pct-0.00 GAA, and 20 shutouts?  Vezina for sure.  not bad for a backup goalie.  Why on Earth would the Wings start him over Jimmy Howard who is sure to go 62-0 with 20 shutouts of his own sporting a 1.63 GAA

You obviously fail in reading comprehension if you think that I have some process that predicts that.  Why are you advancing such a stupid argument that nobody is making?

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 10/21/11 at 02:03 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com