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Leafs’ Phil Kessel: ‘You can’t blow a lead like that’

05.14.13 at 3:26 am ET
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Phil Kessel was celebrating after his third-period goal, but Game 7 ended badly for his Leafs. (AP)

In the immediate moments after the worst Game 7 collapse in Stanley Cup playoff history, Phil Kessel, a man of few words to begin with, need few words to describe his emotions.

“It’s pretty tough,” Kessel said. “Obviously, we were up 4-1 with 10 minutes left or something. You can’t blow a lead like that.”

What did coach Randy Carlyle tell the Leafs in the intermission before overtime after his team self-destructed?

“Obviously, he just said if we put ourselves in this position, we take it,” Kessel said. “Obviously it’s disappointing. I don’t know what happened to us. 4-1, you can’t lose that game.”

How will the Leafs possibly bounce back from this next season?

“Obviously we’ll have the summer to think about it, work hard and get back at it next year,” Kessel said. “It’s pretty tough — 4-1, you can’t lose.”

Kessel kept repeating 4-1 over and over. Did the Leafs fall into a shell and take their foot off the gas?

“I don’t know. I don’t think so, they kind of took it to us and we sat back,” Kessel said. “We can’t do that. I think, we didn’t do things we needed to do right? We sat back and they came at us.

“I don’t know. I can’t look at the positive after a game like that, it’s pretty tough.”

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