If there was a time for Phil Kessel to kill his funk, it was against a New York Islanders goaltender who not only had never played in a National Hockey League game but had a grand total of six wins in the American Hockey League. But Kessel, in the wake of his second consecutive worst weekend ever, couldn't score on Mikko Koskinen on four shots. Kessel hit the post in the second period, but last we checked, that doesn't count. Leafs fans should keep their fingers crossed, though, that Kessel can draw some confidence from the goal by Nikolai Kulemin that he set up in the third period. Kessel did all the work, using his speed to dictate the play in the Isles' end and shrugging off a check by Travis Hamonic to feed Kulemin. With his goalless streak at 12 games, Kessel is creeping up on his worst drought since his NHL rookie season, when he had 11 goals for the Boston Bruins in 2006-07. Two years ago, from Jan. 6-Feb. 22, Kessel went 14 games without a goal for the Bruins.
No goals, but at least Kessel got an assist
Toronto Sun | Feb 9