Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel played his 990th consecutive NHL game Tuesday night. That allowed him to break the tie with Keith Yandle and become the reigning NHL Ironman. Kessel also netted his 400th career goal to become the 12th American player to accomplish that feat.
That’s hardly surprising. He’s made a career of scoring important or milestone honors. He has long been Phil the Thrill.
He has been remarkably consistent as a scorer. Kessel has scored 20 or more goals 12 times. Kessel has netted 30 or more six times. He has scored plenty of important goals, several of them when he was helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Dave Molinari has written about the Penguins for decades and he offers keen insight into how Kessel has stayed healthy enough to play that many games in a row. First and foremost, Kessel loves playing hockey. He’s always made it his mission to play through minor aches and pains.
Kessel’s streak started 4,740 days ago.
But Molinari points out that Kessel’s playing style has helped him stay healthy. He’s not an overly physical player. Kessel is not a penalty killer who blocks shots. He also has a knack of avoiding being run over by big hits. That’s really an art form. Molinari offers much insight with today’s column.
In Case You Missed It
Red Wings look sloppy in 6-2 home loss to the New Jersey Devils. It was the team’s first loss in regulation this season.
Has an injury opened the door for prize goaltending prospect Sebastian Cossa to play more for the Grand Rapids Griffins?
For now, Coach Derek Lalonde plans to stick with his goalie rotation. Ville Husso would be next up for Detroit.
Red Wings’ Next Game
The 3-1-2 Detroit Red Wings will travel to Boston to play the Bruins Thursday on the road.
Hockey Now Network
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