From the time Phil Kessel landed in Boston as a rookie, Bruins center Marc Savard took the teenager under his wing. The off-ice nurturing turned into awesome on-ice chemistry, as the two formed two thirds of the Bruins’ top line for most of the last season and a half.
So how will Kessel’s production be affected by the trade to Toronto, where there’s no Savard or really any player like him?
Over at Hockey or Die! Jonathan Willis goes inside the numbers of Kessel with and without Savard over the last three seasons. Here’s what he determined, with the help of HockeyAnalysis.com.
Here’s is some of what the came up with:
Kessel with Savard:
Goals for every 60 minutes of even-strength ice-time: 3.74
Kessel without Savard:
Goals for every 60 minutes of even-strength ice-time: 2.35
Those are just two of the stats that show how much the speedy winger benefited from skating next to one of the game’s premier playmakers. Now it’s up to the Leafs to find the right fit in order to make the king’s ransom they gave up for Kessel look like a pittance.