He's no poster boy for post-game mirth with the media, but Phil Kessel is doing his talking on the ice.

A lightning rod for fan criticism of Brian Burke's game plan much of the past two years, Kessel reached 30 goals for the third straight and second straight in Toronto. His most recent 30th on Saturday in Ottawa, starting the Leafs to another season-saving win, put him in a group of just six NHLers to string three 30s together since '08-09. Kessel had 36 with Boston that season, convincing GM Burke he was worth a package of three high draft picks.

Kessel's output can fluctuate wildly, going days wearing a cloak of invisibility, then quietly emerging with a seven-game points streak such as the one he takes into Tuesday's game against the Washington Capitals.