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King Kessel Returns To "Bean Town," Leaves With Gas

Eric WarrenCorrespondent IIDecember 6, 2009

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 21: Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates shoot-out goal against the Washington Capitals during game action November 21, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

The Last ten games for the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown us glimpses, more often than not, of who this team is meant to be, or what Burke has envisioned it to look like.

The team has recorded 12 of a possible 20 points in that stretch, and were probably only a couple of lucky bounces one way or the other from getting 16 of the 20 points.

Lately, more often than not, the Leafs have simply out-classed their opponents. Out hustled, out-worked, out-skated, out-shot and out-blocked opposing teams. These things all combined, allowed the Leafs to ice a pretty damned good team for the last couple of weeks.

Last night however, in what should have probably been a more joyous occasion for Kessel, the Leafs wheels simply fell off.

The Boston Bruins, having just come off of a loss to the Canadiens, should have been tired and pissed off. Obviously, they were just pissed off.

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to show improvement though, so lets not all get derailed by the odd stinker. Ron Wilson on his team's performance last night:

"We stunk and we'll move on. We had a good road trip and we gotta go home and win a couple. We'll be ready for them when (the Bruins) come in on Thursday... The game was over half way through the 2nd period so unfortunately, we couldn't do anything right for most of the night."

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Kessel and the Leafs enjoyed a really good week all in all. With back-to-back wins against Columbus and the Habs. This next week will prove to be a good test for our Boys in Blue.

With four games in six nights, Toskala and MacDonald will likely split the goaltending duties as Gustavsson is not expected back until next weekend at the earliest.

With the exception of last night, everyone has looked pretty good of late. Blake had a two goal performance the other night against Columbus also had an assist last night, Kessel and Hagman keep rolling along, if they aren't putting it in themselves, they are helping some one else do it.

Several others have been stepping up as well, including the much maligned Mikeal Grabovski, who was one of the lone bright spots for the team against Boston.

Stepniak and Kullemin continue to impress me with their speed and finesse, when they start to find a way to finish their plays on the net, the will both be regular highlight reel contributors.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Skills Competition happens today at the Hanger, this will be just what the doctor ordered to lighten the moods of the players before they play host to Atlanta tomorrow night.

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