Holy 1967, are these Leafs for real?! The boys in blue and white made it four straight on the road and points in seven of eight overall with a commanding 6-3 win in Columbus last night, picking up a pair of goals each from Phil Kessel and the 2006-07 version of Jason Blake.
Joey MacDonald, starting for a brokenhearted Jonas Gustavsson, stopped 33 of 36 shots to pick up his first win as a Leaf. He’ll be counted on for a week or so more, since it was announced yesterday that The Monster will be having another minor procedure done to try to get his heart rate nice and good after a scare Tuesday in Montreal.
Anyway, back to Kessel: How can you not love this man? Two goals, giving him 10 and 15 points in 15 games, and he finished it off with his first career brouhaha in the third period with some nobody named Kris Russell. Straight badass, that Kessel is.
Lee Stempniak and Nikolai Kulemin also scored for Toronto and Mikhail Grabovski and Niklas Hagman each picked up a pair of assists. Kristian Huselius, Jason Chimera and Jan Hejda scored for the Blue Jackets, as if it matters.
As good as they’ve been playing, the Leafs still sit 29th in the NHL, though now a commanding eight points ahead of the dreadful Hurricanes. Now six points out of the East’s last playoff slot, Toronto is in Boston Saturday looking to make it five straight away from the ACC.