It took over a month, but Toronto Maple Leafs star-forward Phil Kessel finally broke out of a 14-game goal-less drought with a multi-goal performance in Boston tonight en route to a Leafs 4-3 victory.
For Kessel his most recent "slump" brought forth much media and fan scrutiny towards, to the point that a clearly frustrated Kessel acted out in a media scrum last week, calling out Leafs head coach Ron Wilson.
“It’s just not working out here I guess,” Kessel said last week. “I can’t get anything going. Maybe it’s time for a change.” Kessel then furthered those comments by saying he and Wilson don’t really talk.
But the Wilson/Kessel situation was quickly swept under the rug a day later when Kessel said the media misinterpreted the comments.
Kessel’s two goals are not only his first in 14 games, but the first the sniper has scored against his former team since being acquired by the Leafs in 2009.
Mikael Grabovski backed up a strong offensive performance from Kessel, scoring two goals of his own, including the game winner with just over a minute left to play in the third period.
Grabovski’s performance in the win was described as resilient as the Leafs scoring leader took two heavy hits from Zdeno Chara that left him "woozy" to say the least.
“I like [to] play like that," Grabovski told CBC after the game. “I like when defencemen play hard against me. It gives me motivation and I play harder and faster.”
Newly acquired Leaf Joffrey Lupul added a pair of assists (his first points as a Leaf), and James Reimer made 32 saves in the victory. Toronto is on the road again tomorrow night as they head to HSBC Arena in Buffalo to take on the Sabres.