Kessel confident in Leafs' chances
TORONTO, CANADA (The Spread) – Even though they came up short in 2013-14, Phil Kessel is confident that the Maple Leafs can build off of their failures from a year ago.
Kessel told the Canadian Press that he believes the Leafs have a good team that will be better prepared equipped this year to avoid the late-season collapse that the club suffered last year.
"We’ve got to be prepared for the long season, and we won’t go through one of those again," Kessel said. "This year we made some good additions and I think we improved as a team, and we’re going to be ready to go."
The problems last year started with an eight-game losing streak that essentially eliminated the Leafs’ playoff hopes. That led to the team to hire Brendan Shanahan as team president, Kyle Dubas as an assistant general manager to David Nonis, and Peter Horachek and Steve Spott as assistant coaches on Randy Carlyle’s staff.
"This year we made some good additions and I think we improved as a team, and we're going to be ready to go," Kessel said. "We've got to be prepared for the long season, and we won't go through one of those [skids] again."
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Maple Leafs are 40/1 long shots to win the 2015 Stanley Cup and 20/1 to win the Eastern Conference.