Six assists, a league-leading forty-two shots, zero goals.

That is Phil Kessel's stat-line through the Toronto Maple Leafs' first ten regular season games. At the same junction point just one year ago, Kessel had already racked up ten of his career high thirty-seven goals -- with an additional eight helpers -- leading the Maple Leafs in scoring.

But in 2013, Kessel has struggled mightily, suffering through a prolonged goalless drought, something which hits close to home as it happened to Blake Wheeler last season. While the number of games played pile up, one wonders what is plaguing Toronto's American sniper.

Is it simply puck luck or are there mitigating factors at play?

Well, there's a good chance that it's both.

While mired in an 0-42 shooting slump is as unlucky as it gets, Kessel has lost some of the comfortability he enjoyed in 2011-12 without his usual running-mate, Joffrey Lupul, who is out for the sustainable future; sidelined indefinitely with a fractured forearm. It was alongside Lupul -- a player whose 2011-12 season was also a career best -- that Kessel exploded offensively to the tune of 1.00 point per game.