Once again... very unimpressed by Mr. Phil Kessel. I was at the game last night and noticed that anytime the leafs tried to clear the puck from their own end and he was on the ice, he wouldn't even consider taking a hit to make the play. This lead to several turnovers, simply because Kessel is a weak boards player.
I've been saying this for a while now. I was at the game as well and saw the same things live. He just isn't playing a very brave game. He's bailing from contact most times. I'm not expecting him to throw big hits, on the contrary, I'm expecting him to just go to the boards and compete for the puck. With his talent, that's a difference between a floater who scores 25-30 goals and a real elite player that he could be. With other players, that's usually a difference between being an NHL player and not being an NHL player.
The other very noticeable thing was him being gassed very early in his shifts. He's out of shape as far as I'm concerned. Maybe he has some health issues we don't know about but it's really eliminating his impact during his shifts. In my opinion, he doesn't look as fast as he did earlier in the season.