When the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Dallas Stars this evening, they could be a bit shorthanded. Several players are ailing for the team at the moment, but Phil Kessel will not be one of the guys sitting on the sidelines due to injury. He raised some eyebrows when he left practice early yesterday morning, but he appears good to go against Dallas.
Carlyle says Kessel will play tonight. Colton Orr will not. Orr is dealing with an elbow issue.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) December 5, 2013
Keeping Kessel in the lineup would be good news under any circumstance, but with Joffrey Lupul questionable and depth forward Colton Orr dealing with an inflammation on his elbow, Toronto would have been down two top-six forwards and a bottom-six guy against the Stars without Kessel going.
The Leafs are trying to stop a five-game losing streak from snowballing even further. They’ve managed to pick up two loser points during that time span, but the losses have still forced the Leafs to fifth in the Atlantic Division with a 15-11-3 record.
Kessel is the team’s leading scorer and has 15 goals on the year this season. He shoots a ton and Toronto’s offense seems to stall without him in the lineup.