The Toronto Maple Leafs were back on the ice practicing yesterday, and already it seems certain members of the Toronto media have decided to pick on Phil Kessel. Curtis Rush of the Toronto Star wrote a lazy piece questioning Kessel’s effort during the practice, and Michael Traikos of the National Post basically called Kessel classless on Twitter for not speaking to the media about his Olympic experience.
Kessel seems to be an easy target for the media because he comes off as reserved and shy off the ice and isn’t built like a Greek god. All I know is I’ll take the 26-year-old, five-time 30-goal scorer (he’s well on his way to 40 this year) on my team any day of the week. I couldn’t care less if he comes off as lazy or aloof in practices and media sessions.
Thomas Drance of theScore and PPP of Pension Plan Puppets both published excellent satirical pieces in response to Rush’s article. They’re both good for laughs; just remember they are satirical pieces. I think poor Drance has had enough angry Twitter mentions from Leafs fans that didn’t get the memo.
Reports surfaced last night that Ryan Kesler requested a trade out of Vancouver. I don’t really understand why, but if the reports are true, that’s pretty much the end of the Canucks’ Stanley Cup chances this year. Then again, the Canucks could get a King’s Ransom for Kesler if they decide to deal him. Is Dave Nonis willing to part with young players, prospects and draft picks to acquire his old buddy from Vancouver? Harrison Mooney of Pass It To Bulis has more on the whole confusing situation from the Canucks’ side of things.
There are plenty of storylines to watch involving goaltenders leading up to the trade deadline. Justin Goldman shares his top six storylines (from a fantasy hockey perspective) for NHL.com, and one of them isn’t even the possibility the Leafs might look to deal James Reimer.
The Buffalo Sabres are a terrible hockey team. One reason they are terrible is their defensemen are terrible. Here’s Justin Bourne of the Backhand Shelf breaking down a goal by Alexander Semin of the Carolina Hurricanes that shows one such terrible play made by Sabres’ defensemen.