Feb 19, 2014, 4:00 PM EST
Phil Kessel has been one of the NHL’s best players for a few years now. Since the start of 2011-12, he’s ranked third in the league in goals and second in points — yet often fails to get the credit and recognition that level of sustained success typically comes with.
The Olympics are changing that.
Kessel was hot going into this tournament and with the world paying attention, his speed and scoring touch have been on full display. He netted his tournament-tying fifth goal against the Czech Republic today and regained the Olympic lead in points with his eighth in four contests. That has everyone is singing his praises, including American captain Zach Parise.
“Phil’s playing great,” Parise said, per IIHF.com. “He was on fire in the NHL before he came here and he’s continued that in this tournament.
“He’s pushing their ‘D’ out on this big ice and it’s tough to deal with him.”
On Friday, the United States will face a Canadian team that is loaded with stars at forward…which makes this stat all the more impressive.
Phil Kessel has five goals now for the US. Canadian forwards by comparison have six combined.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) February 19, 2014
For a guy that failed to produce much of anything for the Americans at the ’10 Olympics in Vancouver, that’s pretty good.
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 3
- Bettman would be ‘kicking and screaming’ before NHL jerseys have ads 14
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 58
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 8
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 36
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 16
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 16
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 5