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Kessel: ‘There’s no panic here’

Mar 15, 2013, 6:56 PM EDT

Phil Kessel Getty Images

A four-game losing streak may be giving Leafs fans an uneasy sense of déjà vu, but Toronto players insist what happened last season has no bearing on the present.

At least, not in a negative way.

“There’s no panic here,” said Leafs forward Phil Kessel, per TSN’s Mark Masters. “We’re still in a playoff spot. There’s 20 games left and if we keep playing hard we’ll be fine.”

Forward Joffrey Lupul, who expects to return from a lengthy injury tomorrow versus the advancing Jets, thinks last season’s collapse can only help.

“We’re mentally stronger because we’re a year older and went through some of this last year,” said Lupul.

The Leafs started 2011-12 well, compiling a 28-19-6 record after 43 games. However, a 7-18-4 finish left them out of the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

Toronto (15-12-1) is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the ninth-place Rangers (13-11-2), who have two games in hand.

  1. steelers88 - Mar 15, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Yeah sure.

  2. nunan - Mar 15, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Bruins, quick…trade them someone mediocre for a future first rounder.

    • bird500 - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      Does not even have to be a mediocre player. Can even be a decent player that is a distraction in the locker room,, someone that is not a team player.

  3. jjregan21 - Mar 15, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    They must have already accepted the fact they’re not making the playoffs again

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Like I said last night, they haven’t played bad at all over this stretch. If they play the way they did last night they should be just fine against the Jets on Saturday.

  5. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Leafs are playing above 500 hockey right now which greatly augments their chances of making the playoffs. I would say that those teams currently below 500 will NOT make the playoffs. Example: flyers have 20 games remaining and are 3 games below 500. They probably need to be +5 to make the playoffs which means a 14 & 6 record going down the stretch. No way you can just start winning at that pace after being so dismal with only 20 games left.

    • beergold - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      I’d put a $20 on the Flyers making it before I’d bet on the Laffs getting in!

  6. bigoldorcafromvan - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    How did your last 20 go a year ago Phil. Yes There is Panic in Leaf Nation.

  7. beergold - Mar 16, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    so says the most easily intimidated player in the NHL (as voted on by his peers)!

    • beergold - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Career Minus 38 player with the Laffs and not a single playoff season with him as the so called “franchise player” – Prove me wrong all you delusional Laff supporting down voters.

  8. bird500 - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    How many Leafs fans does it take to change a lightbulb?
    None, they would rather sit in the dark and talk about how good the old bulb was.

    • beergold - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      They were using flint to start fires the last time the Laffs were relevant on the ice!

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