Sports Hockey

Travis Dermott of the Toronto Marlies slides through Nick Paul and Jason Akeson of the Binghamton Senators during an AHL game at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on March 24, 2017. (Wayne Cuddington/Postmedia)

Playing spring hockey now a habit

TORONTO — To many Maple Leafs, the joys of playoff hockey are a new experience. But for the former Marlies in their group, it would be a shock to their body clocks if they weren’t playing now.

Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen attends practice in Toronto last Wednesday before facing the Capitals in Game 1 in Washington a day later. (Jack Boland/Toronto Sun)

Trading Kessel paying dividends

As Frederik Andersen walked down the hallway at the Verizon Center just after midnight Sunday, followed not far behind by Kasperi Kapanen, a thought occurred: Almost everything about this young and growing Maple Leafs team comes back to Phil Kessel.

Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner (right) battles with the Capitals’ Matt Niskanen during the first period of Game 2 of their series in Washington last night. Gardiner was a horse on the blue line for the Leafs in their double overtime win. (Getty Images)

Leafs have right to believe

WASHINGTON — This is a series. More than even that. This is a coming out party for a franchise that has been down far too long.