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Phil Kessel: The Art Of Shooting And Timely Goals

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

When you ask Phil Kessel’s teammates what sets his shot apart from others in the league, it all comes down to one recurring theme.

“It’s just a quick release,” said goaltender James Reimer. “With Phil it’s a quick release and if you don’t read it perfect there is no way you are going to catch up to it, it’s just impressive.”

Kessel scored his ninth and 10th goals in last night’s 6-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. The shots were identical in their long range capability.

“He’s so accurate,” said Leafs assistant coach Peter Horachek. “He gets it off very very fast and he shoots from the same spot and you don’t know if he’s shooting high or low, left or right, it’s very quick and hard and very accurate. It’s dangerous every time he shoots from whatever angle he is shooting from.”

Kessel sits third in a tie for fourth in goals with 10, while tied for third in points with 21. When you breakdown his goals, all but one have come in a clutch situation.

Phil Kessel Goals

Goal game situation end result
1 Oct 12/14 @ NYR Gave Leafs 2-1 lead Win 6-3
2 Oct 14/14 vs. COL Gave Leafs 3-2 lead Win 3-2 OT
3 Oct 21/14 @ NYI Tied game 2-2 Win 5-2
4 Oct 21/14 @ NYI Gave Leafs 5-2 lead Win 5-2
5 Oct 28/14 vs. BUF Gave Leafs 2-0 lead Win 4-0
6 Oct 31/14 @ CBJ Gave Leafs 1-0 lead Win 4-1
7 Nov 6/14 @ COL Tied game 1-1 Loss 4-3 SO
8 Nov 8/14 vs NYR Tied game 1-1 Win 5-4
9 Nov 12/14 vs BOS Gave Leafs 1-0 lead Win 6-1
10 Nov 12/14 vs BOS Gave Leafs 2-0 lead Win 6-1

Six out of Kessel’s 10 goals have given the Leafs a one or two goal lead. Three other goals have put the Leafs in a tie. Only one goal had little impact with the Islanders trailing by three after Kessel’s fourth goal of the season.

The Leafs best player has been their best player, allowing for the team to be as successful as it has been.


The Maple Leafs held an off-ice workout today ahead of their game against the Penguins. David Booth (foot), Brandon Kozun (ankle), Joffrey Lupul (hand) and Matt Frattin were the only players to skate at MasterCard Centre.

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