Why can’t the Leafs win at home? The answer is obvious for legendary hockey commentator Don Cherry – it’s their fans.
“All I got to say for those jerks that are hollering ‘Go Jays Go’[at home games], shove it up your nose. And I’m speaking for the players,” quipped Cherry during a broadcast of Coach’s Corner on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
Toronto has one win in five at home appearances and the crowd has been anything but supportive. Somewhere between the silence and the jeers Torontonians have stopped planning Mr. Stanley’s parade and started crucifying Hogtown’s own.
Seems silly considering the boys are coming off three consecutive road wins including smashing rival Canadiens 6-0 Saturday at the Bell Centre. And with Phil Kessel finally scoring his first goal this season in the win over Winnipeg it appears that the Leafs have nowhere to go but up. The motley crew in blue is not only beginning to gel on the ice – a few are even gaining recognition for dropping the gloves.
According to Mr.Cherry the Leafs are much more difficult to roll over this year because of the “Three Amigos” of tough guys Colton Orr, Mark Fraser and the recent addition Frazer McLaren. Cherry credits Toronto’s turn-around in part to the trio.
“The thing is, you might beat the Leafs, but I’ll tell you one thing, nobody pushes them around,” he said. “Second in fights [this season] boy, you aren’t going to beat the Leafs easy.”
Montreal’s Max Pacioretty probably agrees. He accused forward Mikhail Grabovski of biting him during one of the many scrums on Saturday’s blowout. Be afraid, be very afraid.
If only the Toronto could fight their way back into the heart of fans. Or maybe the Wrath of Grapes is enough to get them cheering again.