Phil Kessel got a brand new linemate for Valentine's Day.
During practice on Monday, the struggling Maple Leafs forward was on a line with Joffrey Lupul, who switched to the left wing, and centre Tyler Bozak.
"Phil is the one who has to work his way out of this," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "There is only so much you can do to help him in terms of playing with different people. He has to go earn his chances and dig in and help in other ways until the puck goes in the net."
Kessel and Lupul have not played together in Lupul's brief time in Toronto.
The Leafs play in Boston against the Bruins on Tuesday night, and you have to think Kessel would love nothing more than to score against the club that traded him to Toronto.
But though Kessel has gone 14 games without scoring a goal — the longest drought in his career is 15 games, done during his NHL rookie season with the Bruins — the 23-year-old used a standard comment to describe the game.
"Just another game," Kessel said. "We need the points right now and it will be a tough battle. Teams always change lines up, so you have to find chemistry with everyone and I think we will be fine.
Kessel, Lupul and Bozak on a line at Leafs practice
Toronto Sun | Feb 14