Originally written on Kukla's Korner  |  Last updated 11/16/14

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 18: Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck against Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on December 18, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star, ...But at this point in the season, both Ovechkin and Stamkos, for varying reasons, have slipped from consideration as clear-cut No. 2’s. Here’s a look at the players looking to step into that role: PHIL KESSEL- His name might have seemed out of place at the beginning of the season, but not anymore. The Leafs winger is the NHL’s scoring leader and is recognized as arguably the most dangerous player with the puck in open ice. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock mentioned Kessel in those terms without being prompted and several other NHL coaches have also spoken of Kessel in similar terms. TIM THOMAS- This may be the sleeper choice here. The Bruins are surging and Thomas, like he did in the playoffs last spring, seems to be the deciding factor and has the biggest influence on Boston’s games. more  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacquiao knocks down Algieri six times in easy win

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled for so long'

Red Sox have best offer on table for Pablo Sandoval?

LeBron: Kevin Love will get the ball 'if he demands it'

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

WATCH: Javale McGee kisses elderly fan sitting courtside

WATCH: Tim Tebow busts out a brief Steve Spurrier impression

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.