NHL: Which Star Is More Disappointing; Alexander Ovechkin or Phil Kessel?

Phil Kessel-Alex Ovechkin

We’re about a quarter of the way done with the NHL season. First, I’m happy to see hockey back. There has been plenty of great hockey being played, which is always good to see. Second, nice to see guys like Nail Yakupov, Alex Galchenyuk and Vladimir Tarasenko (also a few others) playing with the teams that drafted them at such a young age. All look to be future stars of the NHL.

Then there are the establish stars of the game. I’m talking about guys like Sidney Crosby, Patrick Marleau, Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos who have all started off the season hot. This what their teams expect out of them, which is why they make a lot of money and why some are considered “franchise players.”

However, not every star or “franchise player” has seen success so far this season. Two names that come to mind is Toronto Maple Leafs’ right winger Phil Kessel and the Washington Capitals left winger and captain Alexander Ovechkin. The season is young however; both stars have struggled to find the back of the net.

Up to this point in the season (February 11th 2013) Kessel has scored two goals (same as Rangers’ rookie J.T. Miller who’s played in three games) and Ovechkin has four goals (guys like P.A. Parenteau and Matt Frattin have more goals than him).

Last year, Kessel posted 37 goals in 82 games which gave him his four straight year of 30 or more goals. For Alexander Ovechkin the last two years have been a struggle for him in which he scored 32 and 38 goals respectfully. While, some hockey players would love to score 30 plus goals, it is a letdown for Ovechkin who scored 52, 46, 65, 56 and 50 goals in his first five seasons with the Caps.

Which star has been more of a disappointment this year?

If we were going  to base off what each player makes, we would have to turn to capgeek.com, which has Phil Kessel making $5.4 million this year, while Ovechkin is a little above $9.5 million. So Ovechkin would be the bigger disappointment. Putting salary aside, I’m still going to say that Ovechkin is the bigger disappointment so far.

Kessel may only have two goals, but has eight assist compared to just four from Ovechkin. That brings their point totals to 10 for Kessel and 8 for Ovi. Also, the Toronto Maple Leafs despite Kessel only lighting the lamp twice are actually playing really good hockey right now. They currently have seven wins (14 points) and are second in the Northeast division compared to Washington who is in last place in the Southeast division with three wins and one overtime lost (7 points).

You look at the rosters and Washington not only has the bigger star in Ovechkin, but a better supporting cast around him with guys like Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Ribeiro. Washington right now is a sinking ship and it all starts with the guy that wears number eight and has a “C” on his chest.

In the end, fans of both franchises would like to see their stars get back to their scoring ways (sounds dirty a bit) and help lead their teams to the playoffs. I believe both can do that, but they better start soon or fans will start to put blame on them very quickly.

Photo Courtesy: aolsportingnews.com