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Kessel says Leafs won’t go through a collapse next season

Aug 3, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT

Phil Kessel AP

Finishing strong hasn’t exactly been the Toronto Maple Leafs’ strong suit the last couple years, but Phil Kessel told the Canadian Press that the 2014-15 season will be different.

The 26-year-old sniper definitely rues that season-ending stretch in which they only won two of their last 14 games, claiming that they “won’t go through one of those again.”

“We don’t have that stretch, we’re right in it,” Kessel said. “This year we made some good additions and I think we improved as a team, and we’re going to be ready to go.”

It’s certainly been a tumultuous offseason for Toronto, although many of the key figures and players remain in the fold. Then again, depth is becoming a key difference-maker in the NHL, so perhaps the Leafs’ offseason tweaks can help them avoid big losing streaks next time.

Kessel was at the Rexall Centre for the Rogers Cup on Sunday, giving him a chance to play ball hockey with Roger Federer of all people, as you can see from his Instagram feed:

Hey, maybe Kessel can take a few tips on putting away pesky opponents from one of tennis’ all-time greats?

  1. lowenni - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    But they probably wil

    • guitarhunterdude - Aug 4, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      You left an “l” off of “will,” signifying a collapse at the end of your sentence, much like the Leafs will collapse late in the season.

      Well played.

  2. theonlycush - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    You can’t collapse from last place…

  3. billiam55 - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    thats like saying the easter bunny is real.

  4. lakeshoreleafsfan - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Phil Kessel and the first line isn’t, and wasn’t, the problem. Kessel pulling double shifts, and JVR/Kessel playing in the Olympics, and they and Bozak playing the big minutes that they did…how could they not be exhausted. The problem was the bottom six; they simply were not good enough. And I really do hope that the Leafs have fixed it this year, but we’ll find out

    • cliffatola - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      I think they really overpaid for Komarov though.

    • lowenni - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Yeah Phil Kessel gets a lot of unwarranted criticism, he carries the Maple Leafs’ offense a lot of the time. JVR along with him. Komarov’ll help out the bottom six, but as cliffatola says, he was overpaid. Gotta do what you gotta do to fill a need though. I expect Maple Leafs to finish anywhere between 8th and 10th in the conference next season, with x-factors being the development of Reilly, Gardiner, and Kadri.

      • billiam55 - Aug 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        we’ll see how long carlyle lasts

    • kaptaanamerica - Aug 4, 2014 at 2:39 AM

      He’s their best player, but he can’t control what the rest of the team does. Never underestimate the leafs ability to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory. They are the masters of letting fans down and embarrassing themselves and their fans.

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 4, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        says the canuck fan.

  5. patthehockeyfan - Aug 3, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Hmmm. A couple of years ago, there was a photo of Mike Richards with Roger Federer. This was in March 2012, before the Kings won their first Cup.

    Maybe Kessel’s photo with Federer is a sign of good things coming to Toronto.

    (Grab on to any straw you can.)

  6. Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 4, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    “HOW DARE Kessel say positive things. What a grade A jerk!!”

    I love you Leaf haters. You’ll get mad about anything. This is why the Leafs should just stop talking to the media. They can learn from newcomer Petri Kontiola.

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