Hug a Leafs fan today. They’ve been through a lot.
Yes, I know about Toronto Maple Leafs fans. They’re rude, they’re cocky. They’re all of that. But you know what? So are a lot of Canucks fans.
And that’s why I think I feel for the Leafs fans today. They remind me of Canucks fans.
Just think about it. They’re cocky, yet they never win. They’re despised, yet they never win.
And when the Leafs blew a 4-1 third period lead after battling back from a 3 games to 1 deficit as playoff underdogs to the big, bad Bruins, how on earth could that not remind you of the Canucks? It reminded me of the 2011 Canucks that lost to Boston amid Bruins cheap shots let go by the referees. It reminded me of the Naslund/Bertuzzi Canucks that had so many heartbreaking early round playoff losses (like in 2002 when they blew a 2-0 series lead to Detroit or in 2003 when they blew a 3-1 series lead to Minnesota or in 2004 when they lost in overtime of game 7 against Calgary).
Never before in my life have I ever wanted a Leafs team to win so much as last night. Perhaps it was because it was against the Bruins (no other team comes close on the hate meter for me) or perhaps it was because they hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2004. But to see a fan base so starved for success to have a series snatched from them right at the very moment that it seemed in their grasp, I could relate.