three days ago, you can let me go now.
Phil Kessel has zero goals so far this season. You're probably well aware of this fact if you're a Maple Leafs fan, or have watched a few seconds of a Maple Leafs game, or walked by a newsstand that included any Toronto newspaper.
But while everyone's seen what Kessel's been doing (and not doing) when he's on the ice, we haven't heard much about what's happening off of it. The notoriously private winger hasn't said much about how he's dealing with the cold streak heard 'round the NHL.
According to well-placed Maple Leafs sources, here's how Phil Kessel has been spending his time during his season-opening slump.
- Repeatedly sneaking into the room of a sleeping Joffrey Lupul with duct tape and a UHU stick and trying to put his arm back together.
- Getting the sinking feeling that when Randy Carlyle showed the team clips of Nail Yakupov's various goal celebrations and sternly warned them all never to do that, he may have just meant the celebration part.
- Waking up in a cold sweat from that recurring nightmare of Zdeno Chara following him everywhere; calmly reminding himself that it was only a dream; rolling over to find Zdeno Chara standing over his bed cracking his knuckles.
- Recognizing that this slump is essentially the product of random chance and a sample size that is insufficient to draw meaningful conclusions that could… no, just kidding. Playing grittier!
- Planning on how best to snap Alexander Ovechkin's picture during the final rounds of the "2013 NHL busts" fantasy draft.
- Considering having his bones and internal organs replaced with an indestructible vanadium exoskeleton, since that seems to have worked out pretty well for Max Pacioretty.
- Explaining to Johnny Bower and Darryl Sittler that he's always been kind of shy about approaching legendary Hall of Fame-level talents for their autographs, so is there any chance they'd be willing to go and ask Matt Fratin for him?
- Same as every day for the past four weeks: Fighting back tears while standing outside Brian Burke's apartment holding a boombox.
- Mumbling to the guy next to him at the bar about how frustrating it is that these days he can't even buy a goal, only to have Greg Jamison reply "Tell me about it".
- Continuing his admirable work on behalf of his version of the Make-a-Wish charity, in which he helps randomly selected beer league veterans suddenly become Dion Phaneuf's defence partner.
- Emailing Dave Nonis the details of every single Ryan Getzlaf trade he can get to work in GM mode in NHL 13.
- To be honest, mostly just staying focused on his interpretive dance.
- Racking his brain trying to remember the details of the trade the sent him to Toronto, while flipping through Toronto sports sections in the desperate hope that one of them might decide to mention it in passing someday.
- Repeatedly calling up R.A. Dickey, Rudy Gay and Jose Reyes; screaming "RUN! RUN! RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!" into the phone.
- Scoring at will next to his playmaking first line center while the hockey world hails him as one of the most talented young players in the entire league. (Wait, sorry, my mistake… that's how Phil Kessel will be spending the nine games after the trade deadline).