Don Cherry to Phil Kessel: ‘Forget about back-checking’

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Phil Kessel is in a funk – just two goals in his last 14 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a funk – shut out in two of their last three games prior to puck drop on Saturday.

But Don Cherry, during his Coach’s Corner segment, had some advice for Kessel, Toronto’s embattled star and the Leafs, too.

“Kessel, I would say, forget it coming back. Just score goals,” said Cherry. “He’s your magic guy with the hands. Let him go, forget about back-checking.”

Interesting strategy.

The last few weeks have been a tumultuous time for Kessel and the Leafs. They have only three wins since Dec. 16.

In addition to his slump, Kessel has been called out for being inconsistent and an alleged inability to be coached, called out again by Mike Milbury for being a “pain” in the, well, you-know-what, and involved in an awkward, heated exchange with a Toronto reporter following the firing of Randy Carlyle.