Kessel anxious to make debut

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:21 PM ET

Before they start erecting a statue in front of City Hall in Phil Kessel's image, the young winger has a message for all those who consider him the next saviour.

"Fans have to temper their expectations," Kessel said after practice today. "Having said that, I'm going to give everything I've got. I'm really excited to get back out there.

"The biggest adjustment will be just getting used to the speed of the game."

Kessel left the Mastercard Centre after practice to get his shoulder tested one final time. If he gets the green light, as expected, he should make his Maple Leafs debut tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Air Canada Centre.

Kessel practiced on a line with Matt Stajan and Jason Blake.

"(Mikhail) Grabovski and (John) Mitchell are centres who like to have the puck alot," coach Ron Wilson said.

"Matty, on the other hand, is someone who can dish it off and get the puck to Phil."

Stajan said today he recognizes his role centreing a line with Kessel.

"That's my job, get the puck to Phil. He's a goal scorer and he needs the puck," Stajan said.


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