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PHT Morning Skate: Kessel takes blame for Leafs collapse

Apr 9, 2014, 8:20 AM EDT

Victor Hedman, Phil Kessel, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly Victor Hedman, Phil Kessel, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Phil Kessel isn’t much of a talker, but after the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that officially eliminated them from playoff contention, he was front and center taking the heat for the Leafs’ late-season collapse. (TSN)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $120,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $100 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ETHere’s the FanDuel link.

Speaking of late-season collapses… The St. Louis Blues figured to be the runaway top team in the Western Conference and now they have the Colorado Avalanche two points behind them and the Avs own the tiebreaker. (The Post-Dispatch)

While other teams are booking their spots in the postseason, Winnipeg’s Bryan Little is wondering when his shot at the playoffs will come. (Winnipeg Sun)

Oilers forward Ryan Jones is pretty sure he won’t be in Edmonton again next season. (Edmonton Sun)

Sabres coach Ted Nolan was quite frustrated about Zac Rinaldo only getting four games for his elbow to the head of Chad Ruhwedel. (Buffalo News)

Remember Mario Lemieux? If you don’t, this look back on what he did in Pittsburgh should help you out. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

  1. patthehockeyfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Nice article on Lemieux by Josh Yohe (the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review link). The YouTube link in that article doesn’t link; but, you can still paste it into your browser.

  2. orangandblack - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Good leadership move by Kessel. I wonder how much heat captain Dion will put on himself.

    • beergold - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      A week from now Neon and his shiny Bentley will be crossing the Confederation Bridge on his way to soak up some PEI summer sun and some of the greatest golfing in Canada! That’s the heat he will put on himself.

      On a hockey note….Kessel and Neon have been told that they are the cornerstones, the franchise face of the Leafs, the leaders who will take the team to the promised land and that their jerseys will one day hang from the ACC rafters. Neither are either and if we are honest it really is not their fault that they took the huge long term contracts and elite NHL player $$$$.

      Someone argued in another Leaf story that the Leaf ownership really WAS trying to build a contender because they were spending to the cap. I would argue that if you are going to spend to the cap then put the cash in the hands of players who can make you a contender every year.

      It is obvious that the long term contract Leaf players currently pocketing that “spend to the cap cash” are never taking the Leafs to the promised land.

      Ownership needs to WTFUP!

  3. muckleflugga - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    all a bit self-important by kessel in a team game

    carlyle’s good but there’s no buy in … leafs defence is a shambles … .nonis should be pistol-whipped for the phaneuf signing

    now known as a gillis gaffe

    playoffs lose a bit of lustre without leafs and canucks

    god help anyone meeting les canadiens … carrying the hopes of canadian network television, pubs, sports bars, restaurants, purveyors of pick-up trucks, timmy’s and eds aids

    dat team going to get calls by da bushel basket, yes sir

  4. drewsylvania - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Where’s Captain Phaneuf and his shiny useless contract?

  5. hockeyflow33 - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Kessel is one of the few Leafs who actually performed. That defense is just abysmal.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (2001)
  2. P. Kessel (1489)
  3. M. Richards (1292)
  4. N. Backstrom (1192)
  5. M. Giordano (1124)