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Apologies for the deleted comment section on the Kessel post-below

I wanted to apologize to VLM readers today.  Not sure how or why, but the comment box was evidently deleted for the Kessel/playoff post (below).

Perhaps it will be possible to leave comments here.  Meanwhile, I'll try to figure out what I did wrong, or if this is a "Blogger" site issue.

Thanks for your patience.


  1. Eventually, I hope this question will have relevance for Leaf fans!
    Off the top, I think the Kessel trade has worked out fine for both teams - which is the object, after all. I haven't enjoyed a line like the Lupul/Bozak/Kessek line for years. Having said that, they've shown an inability to handle tight-checking teams, and particularly those that collapse in their defensive zone. This doesn't bode well for playoff hockey. Although Lupul and Bozak have been crashing the net a bit more recently, I think that's an area that will have to improve if the line, and Kessel are to really contribute in a playoff run.
    As I've noted before, Kessel is a great playmaker as well as shooter, and Lupul's no slouch, either. More net presence, and a determination to stand in there and take it, is what's needed.
    But I have to add that if we don't have a PP that's operating with the efficiency it was earlier this year, Kessel will be thumped, dumped, slashed and bashed without mercy. Unlike Grabovski, it seems his effectiveness diminishes as the hits go up. If the Leafs can't make the other team pay for these infractions, or if some other line can't figure out how to score, there'll be nothing Kessel can do.

  2. He might be able to. I have my doubts though. As this year has gone on and the checking got tougher he isn't scoring as much as he was earlier. As it has become obvious as the year has progressed his line is the only threat to score and they have been focusing on him more and more. This is not a criticism of Kessel as much as it is of Burke who has failed to put a support cast in place that can help Kessel. Come the playoffs (please Lord some day) I can't see him being overly succesful.

  3. Good points, Gerund O'. There are a couple of issues here. One is, yes, can Kessel fight through the big-time playoff checking? Secondly, do the Leafs have the back-up ammunition (including secondary scoring, as you cite) to make the opposition pay if they get chances on the power-play.

    Now is probably not the best time to make that assessment!

  4. Thanks, Willbur. Your comment reinforces what Gerund is saying, in that we'll need more than Kessel to deliver come playoff time. I just think it's an interesting question, whether Kessel is the kind of player who can fight through the extra attention and still produce....

  5. One can only hope we get to put this to the test this year! Like you and others, Michael, I also think that anything Kessel does in the playoffs is somewhat dependent on the production Grabbo's line can come up with, i.e., to spread out the opposing checkers. On his own, I'm afraid he hasn't shown that he can adequately compete in tight reg. season games, let alone the suffocation he will face in spring. And he doesn't have a big centreman/winger to help out either. The space just won't be there. We've seen his weakness exposed along the boards this year, particularly trying to advance the puck out of his zone or start a breakout.
    I hope I'm wrong, but looks like his effectiveness will be limited to PP in the playoffs.


  6. I think you hit on the point of concern, Caedmon. Kessel has all the skill in the world, speed, touch, the release, the vision and passing ability. But whether he has the rest of the traits you need to bring to playoff hockey, when he is "the guy", well, I guess we'll only find out when he gets there.

    And as everyone is saying, his individual "success" will also hinge on what others contribute....

    Thanks Caedmon.

  7. Again, apologies to everyone who wanted to post today, and might have missed the opportunity when they visited the site earlier in the day. I'm still trying to find out what occurred.

    Hopefully it was a one-time issue.

    Thanks for your patience.