Despite firing 36 shots on goal in nine games, Phil Kessel came into Tuesday with just two goals. In a lot of ways, the Toronto Maple Leafs winger was almost as snake-bitten early this season as he was in 2013, but maybe tonight represents his breakthrough.
Kessel, 26, generated a hat trick on three shots to power the Leafs past the Anaheim Ducks 4-2.
Kessel’s first goal came 7:44 into the second period:
Later on in the middle frame, he collected his second, which ended up being the game-winner:
Finally, Kessel netted his third career hat trick about midway through the third:
As that beauty pointed out, Kessel continued his great chemistry with James van Riemsdyk, who assisted on two of his three tallies tonight.
The Leafs have to feel pretty good about how their team – and especially their star – fared after the Buds only generated two shots on goal in the first period of tonight’s eventual win.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”
The greatest mullet in sports history is making a comeback.
According to the Miami Herald’s George Richards, Jaromir Jagr says he’s bringing back the party in the back.
“I have to,” Jagr, 43, said.
Jagr’s teammate with the Florida Panthers, goalie Roberto Luongo, appears to have been the lead lobbyist in all this.
Anyway, this is fantastic.