Phil Kessel cost the Maple Leafs a game in embarrassing fashion

Phil Kessel is an extremely skilled and an extremely entertaining hockey player. We’ve already seen flashes of his offensive brilliance so far this season…reference here and here. However, his defense? Not so great.

Kessel has a longstanding reputation of being a one-way player, and reputation was validated once again last night in Minnesota. Late in the third period with his team up by one, Kessel committed a brutal turnover in his own defensive zone and then promptly failed to backcheck, leading to the a game-tying goal for the Wild.

As you can see in the video above, it was a pretty embarrassing sequence for Kessel, who looked completely lost.

Unfortunately for Kessel, things didn’t get much better in the shootout…81 completely whiffed on his SO attempt against Wild goalie Josh Harding.

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Jason Pominville scored on the ensuing shootout attempt for Minnesota, sealing the 2-1 win for the Wild. You know how they say defense wins games? Yeah, well this is pretty clear proof that lack of defense loses games.

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Pete Blackburn
Founder & lead editor of The Nosebleeds. Journalism graduate of Endicott College, Class of 2013. Boston born & raised. Lover of sports, binge television watching, music that doesn't suck & everything '90s. Not a tall drink of water. Follow @PeteBlackburn