October 20, 2011
Phil The Thrill
How about that Phil Kessel? He's leading the league in goals and points. With his exciting dashes down the ice he has helped Toronto to a 4-0-1 start, the best in the Northeast Division. I even saw one television personality compare Kessel to recent Leaf greats like Darryl Sittler and Wendel Clark!
Kessel's great start makes the Leafs Thursday night showdown even more interesting. Kessel, of course, was traded from Boston to Toronto in a very high profile exchange which has, until recently, seemed quite one sided in Boston's favor.
I don't know how many bookies pegged Kessel as hockey's leading goal and point scorer this season, but if I could play at an online casino that offered odds on him doing exactly that in October, I would have taken that bet.
So far Kessel has 7 goals and 12 points in 5 games. Last season Kessel scored 7 goals in 10 October games. In his career Kessel has 26 career goals in 44 games played in the opening month, more than any other month. He then tends to slow down, especially after the holidays. Not coincidentally, the Leafs tend to fall out content around then.
Hopefully this year is different, because it's nice to see some positive stories and life in Toronto. But if Phil Kessel does slow down, maybe Leafs fans should compare him to Reggie Jackson, aka baseball's Mr. October, rather than to Sittler or Clark.