Phil Kessel
RW PIT
3 weeks ago

Penguins' head coach Mike Sullivan has denied an alleged rift with Kessel that has been publicly simmering for the last six weeks.

EDGE Analysis

Reports surfaced in early May that Kessel was unhappy he wasn't given enough ice-time on Evgeni Malkin's line. Then just before the NHL Entry Draft, another report suggested Kessel wasn't opposed to getting traded to another club. The Coyotes were named as a desirable destination. While he and Kessel have disagreed from time to time, Sullivan was quick to say, "A lot of what's been written ... has been false. I know where my relationship is with Phil, and I certainly have a comfort level with it. I think Phil does, too." Kessel posted a career-best 92-point effort this past year and has won two Cups. But this isn't the first time that attitudinal issues have surfaced about the shy, but intense sniper.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
2 months ago

Kessel was dealing with a variety of injuries -- none of which will require surgery -- through the entire 2017-18 campaign.

EDGE Analysis

Despite being injured throughout the year, Kessel never missed a single game -- although he was a game-time decision a handful of times. The Madison, Wisconsin native's ironman streak extends all the way back to 2009-10 when he last sat out a contest. Even with the bumps and bruises, the winger set career highs in assists (58), points (92) and power-play points (42). Coach Mike Sullivan went on to say, "It was nothing significant," when pressed for more details regarding the nature of Kessel's injury, per Josh Yohe of The Athletic Pittsburgh. As such, the all-star sniper should be ready to go for 2018-19.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
2 months ago

Kessel's postseason came to a close Monday against Washington in the midst of a eight-game goal drought.

EDGE Analysis

Kessel -- who is known for his ability to snipe pucks into the twine -- failed to register a single goal in Pittsburgh's second-round matchup. Perhaps more concerning for fans and fantasy owners alike, is the fact that the winger managed just nine shots during those six contests. The Madison, Wisconsin native's ironman streak remains intact, as he hasn't missed a regular season game since the 2009-10 campaign when he was with Toronto. The 29-year-old set career-highs in both assists (58) and points (92), along with an impressive 13.0 shooting percentage. While some will continue to question his work ethic, there is no doubt that Kessel can produce on the ice, which means fantasy owners can likely expect another high-scoring 2018-19 season.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
2 months ago

Kessel picked up two assists in Saturday's 6-3, Game 5 loss to Washington.

EDGE Analysis

Kessel is on a playmaking roll right now -- he has four in his last three games. And he has nine points, including eight helpers, in 11 games this postseason. But unfortunately, Kessel was the guy who had the puck stripped from him late in the third with his own net empty. And that empty net snipe sealed the Pens' fate. Kessel was minus-4 Saturday in a poor defensive effort. He'd better tidy that up fast or the Pens' postseason could end sooner than he'd like.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
2 months ago

Kessel picked up an assist in Thursday's Game 4 victory over Washington.

EDGE Analysis

Kessel now has power-play helpers in back-to-back games, but remains bogged down in a five-game goal drought. The fact that the winger has yet to find a way to beat Caps' netminder Braden Holtby, should be a concern for fans and fantasy owners alike. If the Madison, Wisconsin native can rediscover his scoring touch, Pittsburgh may be destined for a third consecutive Stanley Cup.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
2 months ago

Kessel snagged a helper in Tuesday's Game 3 loss to the Capitals.

EDGE Analysis

While an assist is better than nothing, the fact that Kessel is bogged down in a five-game goalless streak doesn't bode well for the Penguins, who will need significantly more production out of the Madison, Wisconsin native. With Evgeni Malkin healthy, it might be time for coach Mike Sullivan to consider reuniting the two all-star talents.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
3 months ago

Kessel picked up two assists in Sunday's 8-5 win over the Flyers in Game 6.

EDGE Analysis

He finishes up the first round with one goal and five points in six games, and while he maintained a decent scoring pace, Kessel had trouble getting things going on the second line for the Penguins -- he only fired nine shots on net in total during the series against the Flyers. The 30-year-old may need to get more active in the second round if the Pens are going to continue their march towards the Stanley Cup.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
3 months ago

Kessel scored a goal and had a helper in a 5-0 victory over the Flyers in Wednesday's Game 4.

EDGE Analysis

Somewhat surprisingly, this was Kessel's first goal of the postseason. Though the Penguins have been killing the Flyers, Kessel hasn't really gotten in on the fun yet. However, the American winger had 34 goals and a career-high 92 points this season, so there's no reason to worry about him.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
3 months ago

Kessel contributed an assist during a 5-1 victory Sunday during Game 3 against Philadelphia.

EDGE Analysis

Despite Pittsburgh scoring 13 goals over its first three games, this was Kessel's first point of the series, as his line hasn't had success much offensive success at even strength. During the first three games, Philadelphia has been racking up minor penalties resulting in Kessel averaging a whopping 7:25 of power-play time per game, making it relatively surprising he hasn't more of an impact on the statsheet, especially since he led the NHL in the regular season with 42 points on the man advantage. Head coach Mike Sullivan was also experimenting during parts of Game 2 by placing Kessel with Carl Hagelin and Evgeni Malkin, and if Kessel is permanently bumped up to the second line, more five-on-five points would likely be on the way.

Phil Kessel
RW PIT
3 months ago

Kessel scored a goal and added a power-play assist during Friday's 4-0 win over Ottawa.

EDGE Analysis

By suiting up Friday, Kessel has now played every game in each of the past eight seasons. His multi-point showing also upped his career-best point total to 92, and he reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign. Additionally, his 19 playoff goals over the past two postseasons lead the league, so he projects to be a reliable asset in all playoff settings for the duration of Pittsburgh's quest for its third consecutive Stanley Cup.