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phil kessel

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    Fresh off last night’s hard-hitting victory over the Ottawa Senators, the Maple Leafs face another physical game tonight as they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Tonight’s game will be the fourth in six nights for a Toronto squad which has undergone some significant changes in the past week. The Leafs will enter the game physically tired, but mentally inspired following Saturday’s victory over Ottawa and a terrific effort in a shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

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      Ever since the Leafs’ late-offseason acquisition of Phil Kessel, his performance has been (understandably) heavily-scrutinized in the face of the hefty amount of futures given up to secure the extremely talented winger.

      Kessel’s season has, in some ways, mirrored that of his teammates, with periods of great productivity followed by periods of near-invisibility. However, considering a host of issues which seemingly stood in the way of a productive season, including significant shoulder surgery, causing him to miss out on training camp, and the lack of talent surrounding him, the Leafs’ young sniper has produced at a rate which, in the context of the aforementioned factors, is actually quite impressive.

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        For the second time in four days the Maple Leafs will face off against the New Jersey Devils, this time at the ACC. In what seems to be the most nonsensical decision made in recent memory by NHL schedulers, come this Friday the Leafs and Devils will have faced off three times in one calendar week. What’s up with that?

        As you are all undoubtedly aware, the Leafs have a few new faces in the fold, and we are all eager to see what Phaneuf, Sjostrom, and Giguere bring to the table as members of the blue and white.

        Note: I won’t get into trade analysis here; that has already been covered in excellent fashion by the MLHS crew in prior posts.

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          In the wake of Sunday’s blockbuster trades, one cannot help but wonder what’s next for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Who’s next to go? Who stays?

          In any case, I think that it’s pretty safe to say that this season is a write-off. We’re not making any moves to make a run at the playoffs this season. So, let’s look forward and take a look at what the Maple Leafs should look like next season.

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            Prospect defenceman Keith Aulie:

            “Aulie is a 6’6 defenceman playing for Abbotsford of the AHL. Our plans for Keith are for him to stay at the AHL level for the present, so he will report to the Marlies. This is a player who played on the national junior team and won a gold medal. Excellent skater for a big man, a guy we coveted and hard to work real hard to get into the deal. We think he’s going to be a really good NHL player down the road for a long time. We think right now, like Calgary did, that from a development standpoint, he’ll be better off logging big minutes in the American league.

              652

              Let’s be honest, how many of you had either fallen asleep or changed the channel when your Leafs tied it up tonight?  In a comeback devoid of any explosiveness, Toronto teased you with the possibility of an overtime victory.  Hah! Should have known better, eh?

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                Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the Los Angeles Kings. Fortunately for the Leafs, they are back at home where they have a better record (9-10-5) than when playing as the visitors (8-16-5) this season. Unfortunately for the Leafs, the Kings have a better away record (15-10-1) than they do when playing as the host team (14-9-2)… also Kopitar. Yeah.

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                  Tonight at 7:00, the Toronto Maple Leafs will visit the Florida Panthers in a battle against former Maple Leaf, Bryan McCabe, and his Panthers. Also, Brian Burke addressed the media regarding his outlook towards the remainder of the season, as well as what has been highly regarded as a “double deadline” year with the Olympic break and the trade deadline.

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                    jonas-gustavssonOne of the more enigmatic problems facing Brian Burke in an summer that will see much of the contemporary Buds negligible talent headed for the door, is the impending contract crunch of now go-to starter Jonas Gustavsson. Touted by many as the best netminder outside of the NHL last season, Gustavsson has shown exciting, if fleeting moments of the form that earned him widespread acclaim backstopping last season’s Elitserien champions Farjestads BK.

                    Unfortunately, Gustavsson’s dominant play in the SEL has failed to translate on a consistent basis in the NHL and much of the season many saw as the coronation of a new number one has been overshadowed by a significant heart problem. Supraventricular tachycardia aside, Gustavsson’s woes in the aftermath of his worrisome sidelining have seemingly stemmed from a crisis of confidence borne out of the inconsistent, Jekyll and Hyde defense, The Monster has had to deal with on a night by night basis, as well as the organizations early and now aborted attempts at blooding Vesa Toskala as trade bait.

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                      The Toronto Maple Leafs just can’t seem to do anything right. The Maple Leafs surrendered another lead in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Maple Leafs fell to 1-10 in games decided beyond regulation and more specifically, 0-8 in overtime.

                      Some surprisingly good special teams had the Leafs ahead 2-1 late in the third, but a couple of 4-on-3 power-plays stemming from bad penalties resulted in the tying and winning goals for the Lightning.

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                        Tyler Bozak now has 4 points in three NHL games as a Maple Leafs, and one of those points came last night in a 4-0 victory for the Maple Leafs over the Philadelphia Flyers. Bozak – known for his playmaking capabilities and hockey intelligence – was nothing short of flashy and brilliant on a play that few talented players can make. In one swift motion, he turned Ole-Kristian Tollefson inside out before beating Michael Leighton clean top shelf.

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                          The Toronto Maple Leafs, spiralling of late with a 2-7-1 record in their past 10 games, will to right the ship at home tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.   The Leafs will also be looking for revenge in this matchup, having been on the receiving end of a 6-2 thrashing at the hands of the Flyers only a week ago.

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                            It was the same old story for the Maple Leafs last night. Another bad start, another power-play goal against, another game where they outshot the opposition badly, another good effort, but another loss. The Leafs dropped their fourth in a row, 4-2 to the last-place Carolina Hurricanes.

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                              Per the Toronto Star, it appears as though Tyler Bozak may be the latest player to get a shot at centring the Maple Leafs’ top line alongside Phil Kessel and Nik Kulemin, beginning tonight against Carolina.   With Kessel having recorded only 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 12 games, the Leafs are desperately hoping this change may be the tonic required to get their star winger back on track.

                              Update: confirmed by am640′s Jonas Siegel.

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                                1 month.  17 Leafs games.  A 6-9-2 record for our inconsistent Toronto squad.  More importantly, over 1500 sets of predictions were made.  MLHS is happy to present the top 10 and final 3 winners of the Leafs tickets from Get F’ed with Ed.

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                                  Last season, Phil Kessel registered 14 of 24 assists in an 18-game span, with 10 more over 58 games. He battled an ugly 14-game goalless skid (14-0-3-3), three games before going down to a case of mono in January, and 11 games after his return.

                                  In short, assists aren’t his strong suit. He’s had more goals than assists in every season except his rookie season.

                                  Well, break your selfish streak, Mr. Kessel and you’ll break your slump. One assist at a time.

                                  Here’s how

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                                    The Leafs face up against their old bench boss Pat Quinn tonight hoping to get back on a winning streak of some sort.  The big lineup change seems to be a demotion for Grabovski to the fourth line.  Rickard Wallin benefits from Mikhail’s demotion with a undeserved look on the second line.

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                                      Happy Boxing Day, hockey fans!

                                      It’s a great day for hockey here in Leafland.  The World Junior Championship Tournament, featuring the Leafs’ highly-touted Nazem Kadri, officially gets underway this afternoon as Canada takes on Latvia.   Following the tournament opener, we are in for a treat Leafs take on their long-standing rival, the Montreal Canadiens.   And for those who are able to remain awake after all the holiday parties of the past two days, the Edmonton Oilers will visit the Vancouver Canucks in what should be a typical Saturday night Western Conference barn-burner.  Does it get any better?

                                      Now, onto the Leafs-Habs preview: