January 19, 2013
Leafs' Kessel rates play as 'okay'
Looked at times to be in mid-season form
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

Phil Kessel had a pair of assists for the Leafs in their win over Montreal last night. (Martin Chevalier/QMI Agency)

Sloppy hockey, yes.

But not every Maple Leaf looked like he was keeping his fingers crossed that the puck wouldn’t explode on him in the regular-season opener at the Bell Centre.

Phil Kessel, for one, played at times like he was in mid-season form during the Maple Leafs’ 2-1 victory.

Kessel has become a threatening sniper in the National Hockey League, which might make it easy to forget at times that he is an above-average playmaker.

Kessel made a fine move off the side boards to set up Nazem Kadri for a goal in the first period, and he gave Tyler Bozak a great chance later with another fine pass. Bozak scored in the second period when he blasted a Kessel rebound behind Montreal goaltender Carey Price.

But Kessel missed on a partial breakaway in the third period, so he was not crowing after the game.



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