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Joffrey Lupul demands your attention with hat trick

Nov 2, 2011, 11:26 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

Obviously, the biggest story of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ early season success is the league leading production of Phil Kessel, who upped his total to 20 points tonight. Kessel isn’t the only oft-criticized “one dimensional” resurgent right-handed winger (catches breath) in Toronto, though. His frequent linemate (and hasty Halloween costume designer) Joffrey Lupul is on quite the tear in his own right.

Lupul scored a hat trick in Toronto’s 5-3 win against the New Jersey Devils to move his points total to 14, including eight tallies. He’s just four points away from tying the 18 he produced in the 29 games he played after being traded.

For a while, it seemed like Lupul’s hockey gravestone would read “Guy who kept being the consolation prize in trades.” That was especially true with Chris Pronger; Lupul was involved in two trades for the elbow-throwing All-Star defenseman: once in 2006 and then in 2009.

He’s never bested the 53 points he scored in his second season with his first team, the (then Mighty) Anaheim Ducks, but maybe some of that has to do with the perennial uproar Lupul dealt with? He’s played on four different teams and made two tours of duty with the Ducks in his eight NHL seasons.

The law of averages says that he won’t continue to shoot at 21.6 percent, much like Kessel won’t maintain his 23.8 rate. Still, it’s quite possible that both can maintain at least some of their momentum and help their team continue to “outscore their problems.”

Lupul might even find a semi-permanent home in Toronto in the process.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 2, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    He’s been nothing but solid since he got to the Leafs and just keeps getting better. Burke absolutely picked his former team’s pocket by getting Lupul and Gardiner for Beauchemin

    • James O'Brien - Nov 2, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      Burke’s trades keep looking better and better these days. Even that dreaded Kessel deal, eh?

      • bowens3181 - Nov 3, 2011 at 12:13 AM

        No, I’m sorry but the Kessel deal will never look good. No matter if he leads the league in scoring this year, the Bruins got a franchise center and defenseman in that deal. If he was ever asked to trade back, Burke would do it in a second.
        Also, I’m sorry to burst the bubbles of all the Leaf fans out there but this team is at best the 8th best in the East, and probably not even that. Would not be surprised at all to see Toronto in the bottom 10 of the league after all is said and done.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 3, 2011 at 2:17 AM

        Burke was asked and said he would pull the trigger on that deal again in a second. Can you blame him? Kessel was a proven 30 goal scorer at the time and he was getting him for draft picks. Seguin is no franchise player yet, Kessel is. If anything you need to wait until Seguin has played 5 full years in The Show before you can truly judge this deal. It’s typical of fans of other teams to bash the Leafs but clearly they don’t watch every game. This team has depth and is the best it’s been since the lockout. I’m not expecting anything less than playoffs and if you wanna ridicule that from whatever bandwagon you happen to be on, go for it….Leafs fans have heard it all

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