Phil Kessel tied the NHL record for the “Ironman Streak”, for a player dressing up for consecutive NHL games. This is pretty remarkable given the start of his career he dealt with cancer. He was a Bruin, a Leaf, a Penguin, a Coyote, and now a Golden Knight. He’s become a meme to most hockey fans, for good or ill. I like to think that most readers here it’s purely good.
And I wanted to revisit some of the highlights of career.
#1 - Beat Cancer
Can’t stress enough that Kessel’s career pretty much started with fighting and beating cancer.
#2 - Won Two Cups
He helped Pittsburgh win back to back Cups, with 18 goals and 27 assists in 49 games across those two playoff runs. Probably should have won a playoff MVP in one of those two years as well.
#3 - The Hot dog in the Cup Photo
He took the hot dog thing, which started as an attack against his character, and leaned into it as a meme.
Phil Kessel got a hot dog cake for his birthday. 🌭🎂— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 4, 2022
📸 via @animalsofhockey pic.twitter.com/onhEjRIUcl
#4 - The Team USA tweet
The hot dog thing was already an indication that Kessel has a bit of sass in him, and the subtweet he put out about Team USA leaving him off their World Cup roster following a loss to Canada just sealed it.
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016
What a legend. There are other highlights, both on and off the ice. He called out shitty media people, he defended teammates to said media, he bought box seats for children who had cancer in Sick Kids Hospital, the All Star Game draft, and more come to mind. But those four are the main ones I remember.
The Leafs lost to the Golden Knights last night, and not many people are happy about how bad a game it was. You know where to find the recap.
Leafs lose to Vegas on Kessel’s big night
Fortunately, John Tavares is OK after taking a slapshot to the kneecap which looked really serious, but was actually just really painful and didn’t cause any major damage.
Tavares takes a Sandin slapshot off the knee— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 25, 2022
LINKS FROM THE BRANCHES
Why Maple Leafs’ John Tavares has bolted out as ‘just a beast’ | by Sportsnet [Note: they wrote this before last night.]
Auston Matthews’ trends and a secret to John Tavares’ start: Monday Morning Leafs Report | by The Athletic [And this one too]
Slow start, lethargic performance leads to weekend split as Toronto Marlies concede five in loss to Grand Rapids | by MLHS
Minten starts hot, Knies comes up clutch, Voit on fire: Leafs Prospect Roundup | by TLN