Phil Kessel in: Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

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Phil Kessel in: Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

By Justin Aucoin
WickedGoodSports.com

As both a Boston Bruins and NHL fan, its pretty hard not to get excited and a little giddy when Phil Kessel starts tanking and then acts like a prima donna thats accomplished something in the NHL when, in fact, hes done diddly.

And, thankfully, hes right on schedule for both.

Hes goalless in his last 12 games and has a mere four assists during that stretch. His last goal came on January 11th against the San Jose Sharks. He and Nathan Horton are probably having get-togethers tea parties on off days to talk about their troubles.

Last Saturday Kessel hit a boiling point.

He was benched during a 6-2 butt kicking by the slightly-more-talented Buffalo Sabres. He was also demoted to the third line, putting Mr. Irrelevant in a foul temper for the rest of the weekend.

The following day he vented his frustration to reporters:

"No, me and coach Ron Wilson don't really talk. That's all I have to say about that." And then, when pressured if he was asking for a trade out of Toronto added, "I don't know. Maybe it's just not working out, I guess. Who knows? I didn't get anything going. Maybe it's time for a change or something. Who knows?"

His coach riposted.

"Phil doesnt really want to talk much about goal scoring or even work on it that much in practice," Wilson said.
Touche, monsieur!

Marriage counseling probably isnt standard NHL protocol, but clearly theres some communication issues up north if Kessel and Wilson arent talking.

I don't think anyone talks to the coach that often, right? I mean, some guys might, but I don't. Theres no problem, Kessel said.

Umm if you go a whole month without a goal and your team is already the butt of jokes, it might be a good idea to talk to your coach. He might -- oh, we dont know have some tips or notes for you.

But Kessel -- being ever the horrible politician -- insisted that his words were taken out of context and he was referring to playing on the chum-change line not working out.

"I love Toronto, I want to be here," Kessel said. "I love this city. I love the fans. I love this team. The guys are great here. I don't want any trade or anything like that. I want to be here for a very long time."

To prove this point, Kessel went around hugging everyone in Toronto, kissing babies, shaking hands and even bought one of those I Love Toronto t-shirts.

So Kessel has gone from loving the Maple Leafs, to saying (in some capacity) that its not working out in Toronto, to loving the city all over again. Screw Keanu Reeves; Phil Kessel needs to star in the next Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

And if you read Bob McKenzies tweets youd get the impression that Kessel is bi-polar.

And so continues the train wreck that is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Were not quite sure if its at the Super BowlBlack Eyed Peas level of train wreck, but its comical nonetheless.

Once again we can say, Thank you, Kessel.

Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

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Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

BOSTON – The Bruins are starting to run out of adjectives and descriptors for these “no-show” performances on home ice.

The Bruins made it twice in two months that they’ve dropped a disappointing dud to one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams when they came out flat, and never showed any signs of life in a 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The lack of effort and pitiful results were particularly disappointing coming off a solid five game stretch where they’d engineered high effort wins over Florida, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Patrice Bergeron finished a minus-3 on the afternoon, and said in quasi-disgust that he knew five minutes into the game that his team didn’t have “it” on Monday.

“Something that we talked [headed into Monday was] about building from the last few weeks, and how good it felt around the room, I guess, with winning games basically,” said Bergeron. “[The shutout loss] just shows that you have to show up every night and not take things for granted. I think we did [take things for granted] this afternoon.

“It was about finding someone to get us a shift to get us going basically. We had a few good shifts there, and we sustained a little bit of pressure there. But then we just couldn’t keep that for the next lines after going, we couldn’t sustain that or build from that. It was really the whole team throughout the lineup that didn’t show up and, you know, it’s obviously inexcusable, unacceptable.”

Claude Julien mentioned the compacted schedule and potential fatigue playing into the Bruins looking “flat” on Monday against the Islanders, and perhaps that is partially to blame for an uncharacteristically lifeless performance from the Black and Gold. But the B’s essentially did nothing for 60 minutes after not having played for 48 hours dating back to a Saturday afternoon matinee win over the Flyers, so the fatigue excuse is difficult to swallow.

Instead it looked like a Bruins team that thought they were going to roll out the pucks and beat the worst team in the Metro Division that had lost four-of-five games. Instead a defensive zone breakdown led to a Nikolay Kulemin goal midway through the second period, and the Bruins collapsed after that. Josh Bailey tucked a short side goal past a late-reacting Tuukka Rask for a soft serve special allowed by Boston’s ace goaltender, and Kulemin scored again in the second period once the Bruins began cheating at the offensive end of the ice.

To make matters worse, the Bruins showed zero fight or willingness to scratch and claw their way back into the game in the third period. Instead it looked like they quit on two points that could end up being extremely important at the end of the season.

It also looked like the Bruins weren’t ready to play, and that they overlooked the downtrodden Islanders for the second time in as many months.

“Maybe we took them a little lightly, but we just weren’t ready [to play],” said Brad Marchand. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror and all be a little bit better. We all have to be prepared for every game. You can’t look at the guy besides us and think he’s going to do the job. We have to take a little onus on ourselves and all be a little bit better. As a team, again, we have to play the system together and we have to back each other up. We have to play as one unit and we didn’t do that.”

It’s long past the point where the words even matter that the Bruins are uttering after games like Monday afternoon. Instead it’s about results and nothing else, and the B’s were nothing short of putrid in that category against the Islanders with points at a premium this time of year.