Leaf Nation

Well Leaf fans – you wanted it you got it! Your Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a pretty darn good start to this 2011-12 campaign.

The Buds currently sit atop the Northeast Division at 4-0-1 for 9 Points. This has been a team effort if you believe the talk from the Blue and White dressing room, but truly the story has been Phil ‘The Thrill’ Kessel.

Phil Kessel was chosen last in the 2011 All-Star player draft - the way he's playing now he might be 1st overall pick!

Kessel has 7 goals and 5 assists for an NHL leading 12 points. He has looked tenacious, and focused. His 5-on-5 play has been superb and his speed is noticeable each and every night.

As relieved as all you fans are with the Leafs and Kessel, the most relieved man in the whole of Leafs Nation is Coach Ron Wilson. Many of my Canadian sources have been saying that Wilson needed the Leafs to come out and click straight away. Rumour was that a bad start would have been the death march, and Brian Burke may have been urged into action. Despite all his bluster and bravado protecting the beleaguered Wilson, Burke is the GM of a club that is on a streak of futility…eventually Burkie would have had to think of a shakeup if the Leafs had indeed been 0-5 perhaps.

“There’s no way Burke can keep saying Wilson’s job is safe,” my CBC source told me on the phone, “if they come out and limp through October then something would have had to happen. You can’t fire the whole team, and Wilson has had a long time to get this team going.”

Luckily for Wilson, Burke, and Leafs Nation that’s not the case at this point! They all can thank Phil Kessel for that. They just need him to keep playing like a man possessed, and maybe, just maybe, make things interesting in the East for a long suffering fan base.

You can follow Murph on Twitter @MurphOnIce

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