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At his best, Kessel among best in the world

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08:35 AM ET 02.25 | Brian Burke leveraged a good bit of Toronto's future for Phil Kessel, which occasionally looks like the right move. There are nights when [Kessel] shows so much offensive flair, so much natural skill, so much domination in both the offensive zone and on the scoresheet that, well, after watching such a show, you can see why the beleaguered Maple Leafs general manager paid such a heavy price to land the gifted winger from the Boston Bruins. Thursday evening at the raucous Bell Centre in Montreal was such a night. ... [Every] now and then, when he gets on a run like he is right now, Kessel's natural goal-scoring talents reach the type of elite level that few players in the league not named Stamkos or Crosby can relate to.

Toronto Sun

Phil Kessel, Getty Images Phil Kessel, Getty Images
February 25, 2011  08:42 AM ET

[Every] now and then, when he gets on a run like he is right now, Kessel's natural goal-scoring talents reach the type of elite level that few players in the league not named Stamkos or Crosby can relate to.

Their elite level occurs over the course of a season not just the course of a couple of weeks...

February 25, 2011  08:48 AM ET

And AWAAAAY WE GO!

Let the Maple Leaf hyperbole begin! Leave it to the Sun to exagerrate a Leafs' abilities - its been their M.O. for decades anyway.

They have no business putting this punk's name in the same "elite level" as Crosby or Stamkos. He's a second tier player, at best. I mean, Franzen scored 5 goals in a game a month ago, you didn't hear comparisons to Stammer and Cros for him. But Kessel squeeks out a good game and all of a sudden he's among the league's best.

Honestly speaking, he's not even a top line player on a good team (other than Pitt, with their regular lack of wingers). He'd struggle to even be in Philly or Detroit's Top 6, most nights. Now we're supposed to believe he's as good a goal scorer as there is in the league because he actually chose to show up against the Habs last night? Save it.

He's not even Dany Heatley or Ilya Kovalchuk. Let alone Marion Gaborik, Hossa, Kane, Rick Nash, I'm sure the list can go on. This is why Leaf players only disappoint Leaf fans, and why non-Leaf fans hate the Leafs so much (among many, many other reasons.)

February 25, 2011  09:29 AM ET

Easy to be the leading guy on a **** team. Once he starts going into corners or maybe does an interview with a few teeth missing i might warm up to him.

February 25, 2011  09:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

why non-Leaf fans hate the Leafs so much

I DON'T HATE BALBOA, I PITY DA FOOL

February 25, 2011  09:49 AM ET

I'm having a really hard time keeping down my breakfast.

February 25, 2011  09:58 AM ET

"At his best, Kessel among best in the world"

See there's the thing though. At their worst, Crosby, Malkin, Ovie, Stammer, etc etc are still among the best in the world.

February 25, 2011  10:25 AM ET

Kessel would stuggle to be the best in a 2nd tier beer leauge.
Delusions of Granduer in leafland.

February 25, 2011  10:27 AM ET

Okay, I'm back from driving the porcelain bus and I see Argos is over on the Throwndowns and even he's too embarrassed to comment on this drivel. Now that's bad.

February 25, 2011  10:47 AM ET

This is the Toronto Sun, after all...when the Leafs won 4 games at the start of the year, the front page was the Stanley Cup.

Kessel had some good games for the Bruins too. Wait until they play big games like playoffs (then again, this is the Leafs...) and he folds like a tent after getting hit. Then he just floats, afraid of contact.

He's got some skill and speed, but he's heartless and gutless. Leave it to the Sun to proclaim him as the one of the greatest hockey players in the world...LOL

February 25, 2011  10:48 AM ET

They're erecting a statue as we speak. Not bad for a fifty, no, forty, no, a 31 goal scorer last year.

February 25, 2011  10:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

And AWAAAAY WE GO!Let the Maple Leaf hyperbole begin! Leave it to the Sun to exagerrate a Leafs' abilities - its been their M.O. for decades anyway.They have no business putting this punk's name in the same "elite level" as Crosby or Stamkos. He's a second tier player, at best. I mean, Franzen scored 5 goals in a game a month ago, you didn't hear comparisons to Stammer and Cros for him. But Kessel squeeks out a good game and all of a sudden he's among the league's best. Honestly speaking, he's not even a top line player on a good team (other than Pitt, with their regular lack of wingers). He'd struggle to even be in Philly or Detroit's Top 6, most nights. Now we're supposed to believe he's as good a goal scorer as there is in the league because he actually chose to show up against the Habs last night? Save it.He's not even Dany Heatley or Ilya Kovalchuk. Let alone Marion Gaborik, Hossa, Kane, Rick Nash, I'm sure the list can go on. This is why Leaf players only disappoint Leaf fans, and why non-Leaf fans hate the Leafs so much (among many, many other reasons.)

Yes...Awaaay we do go indeed Go.
Leave it to the anti Leafs to jump all over this...not surprisingly, without the knowledge of having read the entire article!
Had you done so you would have seen that the Sun was not too far off the mark on this view and secondly that writer is one of the better ones on their staff. The writer also goes on to talk about the down side of Kessel.

That said, I'd certainly challenge you to support your view that Kessel is not a world class goal scorer.
Here are just a few facts to consider before you spew your ignorance on this subject further.

* There are 30 teams in the NHL. 15 can only boast a 25 goal scorer so far this season.
Toronto is one of them with Kessel. There are about 600 players in the NHL.
* Kessel does indeed play for a talent challenged team and contrary to some fannation opinions, no, it is not easy to shine on a poor team. In fact it is harder as other teams can key on the talented loner and shut him down.
*Kessel has the unfortunate misfortune of playing for the most unpopular coach named in a recent poll as the coach most players' wouldn't want to play for. Mr. Personality himself, Ron Wilson.
* Just as a matter of your own ignorance and Leaf hate, Stammer and Cros were in fact, excluded from the comparison.
* The Bruins were and are a good to great team, Kessel was a first line player, could you explain that?
*I'd sugest that you look again at the goal stats this season when you mention, Gaborik, Hossa, Kane, Heatly or Ilya...none have scored 25 goals yet and Nash for the record has 29.
*The talent laden Capitals do not have a player with 25 goals yet! Hmmmm?
*Kessel is still young and developing without the benefit of a world class or even star center...yet he prevails.
*Many goal scorers are steak scorers as most know, only a handful of truly superstar status can do it game in and game out historically speaking.
*Kessel also scores timely goals, ie: game winners and the like.
*Kessel is currently in the top 6 in goals for right wingers...

So could you flatulate some more on your position that he is not a world class scorer?

February 25, 2011  10:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

This is the Toronto Sun, after all...when the Leafs won 4 games at the start of the year, the front page was the Stanley Cup.Kessel had some good games for the Bruins too. Wait until they play big games like playoffs (then again, this is the Leafs...) and he folds like a tent after getting hit. Then he just floats, afraid of contact.He's got some skill and speed, but he's heartless and gutless. Leave it to the Sun to proclaim him as the one of the greatest hockey players in the world...LOL

Big games...you mean like as a 20 yr. old he put up 11 points in 11 games for the Bruins in the playoffs?
So yeah...I see what you're saying...truly a pup tent.

February 25, 2011  10:52 AM ET

Problem is Crosby and Stamkos are consistently this good.

February 25, 2011  10:54 AM ET

19, 36, 30, twenty plus this year, goals to be exact the last seasons

February 25, 2011  11:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Problem is Crosby and Stamkos are consistently this good.

Hey Phantom, from the looks of #12 and #13 I might need that "H" today. :-)

Comment #18 has been removed
February 25, 2011  11:27 AM ET

I LOVE KOOL AID!!!

February 25, 2011  11:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Hey Phantom, from the looks of #12 and #13 I might need that "H" today. :-)

Are you suggesting that my comments are inaccurate and don't deserve the benefit of a real hockey argument instead of band wagon Leaf Nation hate drival?
Seriously, consider my points and further consider this for the next one that mentions the lack of heart of testecular fortitude of Kessel...
At 19 years old in his rookie season he had surgery for testcular cancer and only missed 11 games...clearly he must have a pair to get that disease.
The year he led the Bruins in the playoffs he ended up with off season shoulder surgery which he damaged in March of that same year and not only played through it but led his team in playoff scoring...
So perhaps Phantom can give himself an H as well as GoCanada and a few others...btw, Argos is an idiot....:)

February 25, 2011  11:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Hey Phantom, from the looks of #12 and #13 I might need that "H" today. :-)

Just let me know. I got one at the ready - different than the one I apparently have to give myself :)

 
Comment #22 has been removed

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