It’s almost like the media is contractually obligated to mention the Phil Kessel trade anytime the Leafs and Bruins play. (PHT: guilty as charged!)
Not without reason, mind you — it was a fairly huge deal. Kessel fell out of favor in Boston before getting flipped to Toronto for a treasure chest of draft picks. Since the trade, all things have come up Bruin: Tyler Seguin, Jared Knight, Dougie Hamilton…and that whole 2011 Stanley Cup thingy.
Tonight, it wasn’t just the media bringing up the Kessel trade — it was the TD Garden faithful. To thank Kessel for all he’s done for the organization, Bruins fans decided to give him the business. Shortly after Seguin scored to make it 6-1 (his third and final point of the evening) the Garden erupted into a “thank you Kes-sel” chant:
It was a forgettable night for Kessel (no points, minus-1 rating, one shot on goal), but that shouldn’t take away from how good he’s been thus far. Kessel had seven goals and five assists in Toronto’s first five games and despite tonight’s loss, the Leafs are still within a point of top spot in the division. So yes, the trade looks good for Toronto.
Of course, it looks really good for the Bruins.