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This week, the panel discusses the inconsistency of Phil Kessel, the potential goal output of Steven Stamkos, NHL GMs' rejection of the proposed coach's challenge and which NHL coach or GM should have a Twitter account.
Question #1: What's wrong with the frustratingly inconsistent Phil Kessel?
A) Plays too much on the perimeter
B) Succumbs to pressure
C) Nothing that a good centre wouldn't cure
Aaron Ward: Nothing that a good centre wouldn't cure. All you need to do is learn from history. Give him a guy like Marc Savard, who not only will provide him with great passes but take the focus off him. He needs room to grow, a play to roam and a place to exercise his skill, and when it's so confined and everybody's focusing on him, he does not excel.
Bob McKenzie: He plays too much on the perimeter, don't let him off the hook. There were times when he played really well last season and he played really well to start this season. And when he played well for the Leafs, he would drive the net, get his nose dirty - as dirty as Kessel gets it. He hasn't done that for the last couple of weeks. He's not getting goals now because he's not doing the same things he did early this season or last year.
Keith Jones: Nothing a good centre would not fix. There's no question that Kessel needs help. I played with Dale Hunter, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Eric Lindros; those were my centre-ice men. If I didn't play with those guys, I would have retired about eight years before. You need centre-ice men, the Leafs have zero.
Question #2: Prediction time: Steven Stamkos has 13 goals in 14 games. Assuming he stays healthy – and he has missed only three games during his three-season NHL career – how many goals will he score this season?
Jones: I'm going with 55. I've made mistakes before with these predictions. I had Dany Heatley scoring 70, but I'm going to go with 55 for Stamkos. You know he's going to light it up on the powerplay. 55 is a huge number in today's game. He had 51 last year and I believe he's going to build on that, but I don't think the sky's the limit, I think 55 is.
McKenzie: I will say 55 as well. He's on pace for much more than that right now, but I don't think there's any question he'll hit a few rough patches and so will the Tampa Bay Lightning along the way.
Ward: I've got to go with 65. It's the ying and yang factor with Martin St. Louis - such a creative veteran guy. He's been playing in every circumstance, every situation, and he's logging big minutes.
Question #3: Do you agree with NHL general managers shooting down the coach's challenge proposed by Panthers GM Dale Tallon?
Ward: I completely disagree. You've got to see that, in most circumstances, when you're asking for a replay or you disagree with a play, it's usually with a goal and it involves goalie interference. Now it's tough, you've got to define goalie interference again and be so specific that everybody knows from the outset what it is. But this is where it would apply in the best situation for the NHL is when coaches can contest it there.
McKenzie: I agree with the challenge being shot down. If you're going to allow the coaches virtually anything that happens in a hockey game, even if they don't have that challenge, then you'd look at it and say, "Why wouldn't the league, if they're going to use video review to see whether a guy was tripped or high-sticked, why wouldn't you do it all the time? Why would you only do it once a game? It would be a slippery slope to nothing but video review.
Jones: I disagree, and I think there are a lot of recent examples of where it would be so handy. Just think back to the Edmonton/Caroina game the other night. There was a high-stick by Joni Pitkanen on Andrew Cogliano. He was bleeding on the ice, the play continued, and the Oilers, instead of heading to the powerplay, were heading to the penalty kill when Dustin Penner took a penalty. Cogliano was bleeding profusely, it should have been a powerplay for the Oilers, the coach would have had the chance to throw it on the ice and it would have been a different hockey game, maybe.
Question #4: Mike Gillis is the first NHL coach or general manager to have a Twitter account. Who would you like to be second?
A) Bruce Boudreau
B) Brian Burke
C) Bryan Murray
D) John Tortorella
McKenzie: I'll go with Murray, the GM of the Senators. He's often sarcastic, wise-cracking, biting, a little bit combative, and those are all elements that make for a good personality on Twitter.
Ward: Maurice is my choice. We're going with sarcastic again - he's the most sarcastic. He's hilarious both in the locker room and away, so give him a means in which he can express himself, you might be off the charts with hilarity.
Jones: Good picks by both of you guys, but this is easy: Tortorella. The Quiz has not been the same since Torts was here. Nobody said more with less than Tortorella.