Happy Friday. Happy birthday Sidney Crosby. It's time for Phil Friday with our main man Phil Kessel. In the words of Michael Bolton, "boys, let's get to it".
Crosby on Kessel
Michelle from Pens Inside Scoop was at Sid's hockey school in Nova Scotia this week. She had a great interview with him (check it out in full if you haven't already) and of course they touched on Phil-mainia. From Penguins.com:
We have to ask you about Phil Kessel. Obviously a lot of fans are excited about that. How excited are you as a center to have a guy like that potentially play on your wing?
I think that we’ve got a ton of depth and he just adds to that. We all know he can score. He’s got great speed and hopefully that’s something where when they’re trying to cover one guy, someone else is going to be open. And I think with the depth that we have, it shouldn’t be easy to match up against us. So whatever the line combinations are, whoever ends up playing together, we’re going to have some really good balance there and he’s going to add a lot to that.
(You know it's summer when you're excited to see a Sidney Crosby [most boring quote in the game] interview)
Phil Kessel off the ice: he's not just another bland, boring, vanilla hockey player!
(Also, fingers crossed he calls Rossi an idiot in his first season..)
GIF's a million
Goalies and defenders have to respect Kessel's shot. And for good reason, Kessel's 1,041 shots from 2011-12 to present are third among all NHL wingers behind only Alex Ovechkin and Rick Nash. Kessel has 66 more assists than Nash, 49 more than Ovechkin. Kessel isn't just a shooter (though he does shoot a lot), he's a pretty accomplished distributor to teammates as well.
Kessel's playmaking ability is probably under-rated by fans. Or at least not talked about quite as much as it probably should be. Kessel's 156 assists in the past 4 seasons are 3rd most among wingers too, behind Henrik Zetterberg and Martin St. Louis.
And, nothing against James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri (seen gifted a goal in the image above), but Kessel's teammates - notably former 50-goal guys in Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, should be reaping the benefits.
I mean, seriously, can't you already see that #43 as a #87 and the blue-and-white transform into black-and-gold? Happy birthday Sid!
THREE HEADED MONSTER
Sorry Jordan, but can you just imagine the first time the Penguins roll a 3-headed-monster and go Malkin-Crosby-Kessel the first time after a penalty kill or in the last minute of a period or when the Pens need a goal?
Is it October already?
Have a good 8/7 and a great weekend. Go Pens.