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Phil Kessel: Even “healthy scratch” helps Golden Knights

Phil Kessel played in all his team’s games (82) during the 2022-2023 season. He finished the campaign with 14 goals and 22 assists, for a total of 36 points.

At 35, the NHL’s iron man is starting to slow down. It was inevitable, we agree, and his statistics are proof of that.

Note that in the playoffs, the veteran has played only four games so far, all against the Winnipeg Jets in the first round. That’s not to say he’s not getting the job done, however. Bruce Cassidy simply has better things on his hands.

At his age, that’s not necessarily an easy situation to accept. But it seems that he’s behaving like a true leader in spite of it all.

Jonathan Marchessault, Jack Eichel and Mark Stone, among others, have all spoken of his involvement even when Kessel isn’t with the rest of the group on the ice for the team’s games, and the observation is clear.

Even when he’s not playing, Kessel is a big help to the Golden Knights. What, you ask?

Well, it’s mostly by clowning around in the dressing room, lightening the mood on the plane when the club has to travel, or by constantly having a huge smile on his face that he’s able to calm his teammates down.

Then again, Kessel might be angry about his situation, and he could very well act like a baboon. But let’s not forget that Kessel won two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and knows what it takes to win that trophy.

It’s often said that in the playoffs, it’s important to have veterans with playoff experience.

Kessel is a case in point.

The Golden Knights players jumped on the ice for an early morning workout earlier today, and invited their fans along for the ride.

The result?

The arena was practically full, suggesting that playoff fever has well and truly taken hold of the team’s fans. At first, we wondered if field hockey in Vegas would work…

And now, the team will have the opportunity to win its very first Stanley Cup tomorrow night, at home.

A feat no one would have believed possible on this date seven years ago.

In gusto

– I love confidence.

– Nice message.

– It’s, how can I put this… Quite peculiar.

– To be continued.

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