Connolly on the hot seat

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:57 AM ET

TORONTO - Tim Kessel?

Phil Connolly?

One could easily make the mistake of juxtaposing the given names of these two Leaf forwards, giving how the pair have been linked ever since Tim Connolly joined Toronto as a free agent on July 1.

From the moment Connolly signed with the Leafs, he was billed as the centre Phil Kessel had been missing since his days in Boston when Marc Savard was setting him up on a consistent basis.

Whether it plays out that remains to be seen. But there has been no shortage of hype about the Leafs potential Dynamic Duo, so much so that both players were asked by the media on Friday if they had been going out to eat together the past few weeks.

“No we haven’t got out for dinner yet,” Connolly said. “But we have spent some time talking a bit about how we play.

“If it ends up that I play with him, it does take a while to learn someone’s tendencies out on the ice. I do know this: If I play with him, it’s my job to feed him the puck.”

Kessel pointed out that there were some growing pains when he first was matched up with Savard.

“It took time but it came together pretty good,” Kessel said.

“(Connolly) is a good centre, a proven one. I’m getting to know him a little bit.”

At the same time, Kessel defended the play of Tyler Bozak, his centre at the beginning of last season.

“I thought Bozie did a good job,” Kessel said. “We had a lot of chances.”


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