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03-04-2013, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by HockeyThoughts View Post
The issue is that Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul had mutually beneficial chemistry. While JVR has flourished as a result of the playmaking prowess of Kessel, JVR has failed to reciprocate as evidenced by his meager 4 assists. On the other hand, when Kessel and Lupul have played together they both scored at a 30G+, PPG pace, which is certainly better than having one 40G scorer and 1 60pt scorer. Furthermore, I beleive JVR would be equally successful adding some size and goalscoring prowess to either the Grabovski-Kulemin or Kadri-Frattin pairings.
The issue with this assessment is that Kessel's lack of goal production has in large been a part to bad luck, not because of a lack of quality set ups by his linemates or a lack of opportunity to get shots on net. Also throw in the fact that when you play wide open hockey like they did last year it creates a lot more room on the ice. I don't have a breakdown of his goals last year but I believe that a lot of Kessel and Lupul's goals were due to rushes up the ice. With the kind of talent that Kessel has, you don't want to give him time and space. The team playing more defensively responsible hockey means that there are less opportunities for Kessel to get going off the rush and find the perfect spot to shoot at.

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