Phil Kessel is not a happy camper these days. His Toronto Maple Leafs have a 21-26-5 record and are 11 points back of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Of course, he also was recently selected last in the All-Star game, he has not scored in his last 10 games with only three points total in that span since Jan. 11, and finally, in practice on Sunday, he was dropped down a line, taking him out of the top unit.
Now, he has publicly stated his frustration with the team and the season.
"I don't really know what to say about that anymore," Kessel told the National Post. "I'm trying. Obviously, it's not going right. It might not be working out here. What are you going to do?"
Kessel may have 34 points, 19 goals and 17 assists, in 52 games this campaign, but his minus-22 mark surely blemishes those other statistics.
"I've got chances," he added. "Obviously, I've got some breakaways in the last couple of games, but it’s not working. Obviously — hopefully — it changes."
Head coach Ron Wilson also spoke about Kessel's slump.
"Phil doesn't really want to talk much about goal-scoring, or even work on it that much in practice — it's kind of a 'touch' thing," he said. "So, he comes and goes into these hot streaks, cold streaks. Just be patient. Change up the line. It's a different look. It makes you think a little bit. And, hopefully, we'll find the balance in our attack that we had a couple of weeks ago when we went on that road trip."
Bruins fans certainly haven't missed their former forward, who in return for the 2009 trade received a first- and second-round pick in the 2010 draft, and a first-round pick in the 2011 draft. With those picks, the Bruins selected Tyler Seguin second overall and Jared Knight 32nd overall.
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