|Toronto Maple Leafs' Phil Kessel celebrates his goal with the bench against the Ottawa Senators. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
NEW YORK — Phil Kessel has tasted enough of the bad in one season as a Maple Leaf not to get too carried away with a brief sampling of the good.
The high-scoring forward led the Leafs through their opening drills Thursday at Chelsea Piers Sky Rink, to open a relatively loud and upbeat practice for a team that had arrived in town just 11 hours earlier.
Kessel had his least effective game of the season Wednesday in Pittsburgh after some tight checking denied him a shot on net for the first time this season.
But with a 3-0 record and first place in the Eastern Conference prior to Thursday’s play, there was no reason not to be upbeat.
“Winning is easy,” Kessel said of the attitude that is permeating the team on its first road trip of the season. “When you are losing, that’s the hard part. We just have to do what we can to keep this going.”