For a weekend that should’ve been a reprieve from the firestorm that has been the 2010-11 Maple Leafs campaign for Phil Kessel, the 23-year-old took a beating over the All-Star weekend. If Kessel still played for the Boston Bruins and was picked last in the All-Star draft, it would’ve been a virtual non-story. The controversy of the price for which Kessel was acquired was always going to be a unabating debate and a major part of Brian Burke and Phil Kessel’s legacy alike; this I knew. But what enraged me was the manner in which opposition fans and pundits hurled rocks at an easy target like Phil Kessel because they still after all these years can’t accept that the Leafs, no matter how bad, are ALWAYS relevant. And typically the debates and one liner pot shots fan threw Kessel’s way all ignored the important surrounding facts. On that note, I’ll post below some numbers MLHS’ Cameron ran today about Kessel’s numbers given his support. Chin up, Phil:

“Kessel’s stats are actually very, very solid given his support. Check this out:

All-Star Winger Goal Production:

Daniel Sedin – 27
Patrick Sharp – 26
Corey Perry – 25
Rick Nash – 23
Marty St.Louis – 20
[[[[ PHIL KESSEL – 19 ]]]
Alex Ovechkin – 19
Claude Giroux – 19
Loui Eriksson – 17
David Backes – 16
Martin Havlat – 14
Patrik Elias – 13
Patrick Kane – 13

Production of most common linemates:

Loui Eriksson – Richards/Neal – 94 points
Daniel Sedin – H.Sedin/Burrows – 89 points
Marty St.Louis – Stamkos/Downie – 88 points
Alex Ovechkin – Backstrom/Semin – 81 points
Corey Perry – Getzlaf/Ryan – 76 points
Patrick Kane – Toews/Brouwer – 68 points
Rick Nash – Brassard/Voracek – 66 points
Patrick Sharp – Hossa/Kopecky – 58 points
Claude Giroux – Carter/Powe – 55 points
David Backes – D’Agostini/Boyes – 55 points
Martin Havlat – Brodziak/Bouchard – 35 points
Patrik Elias – Arnott/Tedenby – 33 points
[[[[PHIL KESSEL – Bozak/Crabb – 27 points]]]]”

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-13 Maple Leafs Annual magazines. You can contact him at [email protected]

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