Kessel: ‘There’s no panic here’


A four-game losing streak may be giving Leafs fans an uneasy sense of déjà vu, but Toronto players insist what happened last season has no bearing on the present.

At least, not in a negative way.

“There’s no panic here,” said Leafs forward Phil Kessel, per TSN’s Mark Masters. “We’re still in a playoff spot. There’s 20 games left and if we keep playing hard we’ll be fine.”

Forward Joffrey Lupul, who expects to return from a lengthy injury tomorrow versus the advancing Jets, thinks last season’s collapse can only help.

“We’re mentally stronger because we’re a year older and went through some of this last year,” said Lupul.

The Leafs started 2011-12 well, compiling a 28-19-6 record after 43 games. However, a 7-18-4 finish left them out of the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

Toronto (15-12-1) is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the ninth-place Rangers (13-11-2), who have two games in hand.