Posted by: Jeremy | November 3, 2009

Kessel set to play, won’t score 36 in first game


Kessel is ready to put that bad boy on

The day has arrived, Leafs Nation: Phil Kessel makes his debut in blue and white tonight and the team transforms from having lost 11 of 12 to start the year to the top team in the NHL. Brian Burke is a genius!

The 22-year-old, who Burke picked up from Boston for first and second rounders in next year’s draft and a first in 2011, will be in uniform tonight against Tampa Bay at the ACC after missing the first month of the season while recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. However, just when you thought the cure to all the ails the Leafs had arrived, the realist in Kessel linemate Matt Stajan knocks you back down to earth:

“You won’t see 36 goals tomorrow night,” Stajan said after practice yesterday. “He’s a skilled guy, but one guy won’t turn it around for a team.”

Really? He’s not going to score 36 times tonight? And the Leafs aren’t instantly the best team in the league? Oh come on Matty, life is hard enough on Toronto sports fans — give us a little hope!

Either way, Kessel is a much-needed boost. The young man potted 36 last year in Boston (albeit not in one game) and will be skating with Stajan and Jason Blake tonight. The Leafs and Lightning get it going at 7:30.



  1. Really looking forward to this one. Even though I don’t think P.K will be quite what he was in Boston (yet…he needs a true guy to play by his side) he is without question a big shot in the arm for this team. A second regular season win would be huge tonight and with a 5 game point streak on the line and Kessel starting in Toronto, tonight should be a beauty of a game. Lets just hope and pray they start “The Monster”!

  2. I think he’ll be a great player. Worth two firsts and a second, with one possibly being a top five? We’ll see about that. Either way, it’ll be good to finally see him in uniform tonight.

  3. am i wrong, or does he look like papelbon from the red sox??
    its funny how the leafs are in a re-building phase, yet will bet the farm on one guy. i think an american in charge is too pre-occupied in believing his own press clippings regarding his raiding of the universities down south.
    maybe they should have gotten kevin lowe as the GM….he’s already proved that he’s smarter than burke!!!!!
    peace, hippy!!

  4. Give Kessel the keys to the city folks. He’s ready.

  5. Yeah, I see the Papelbon resemblance now that you mention it…

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