The Toronto Maple Leafs got absolutely shellacked at home tonight, giving up five third-period goals to the Predators en route to a 9-2 loss. Leafs fans were so mad that one of them tossed their jersey onto the ice late in the third period:
The crazy thing is, throwing a jersey onto the ice in Toronto is old hat by now. Three days ago, multiple scarves and a jersey were thrown on the ice as the Leafs lost 6-2 to the lowly Sabres. It also happened twice in the Leafs first four games, and multiple players have given statements condemning the novel form of protest. Tonight's game, though, was the first time it has happened during live play.
While the Leafs have certainly had some eye-popping losses this season, they're not actually that bad. They weren't expected to be very good this season, but if the playoffs started today they'd be the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. That's not great, but it's not nothing. But Leafs fans's frustration goes much deeper than just this season, rooted in consistently paying the highest prices in hockey for only one playoff appearance since the lockout.
Things are getting ugly in Toronto, exemplified by Leafs star Phil Kessel blowing off the media after that loss to the Sabres, and former Leafs GM and president—and current Flames president—Brian Burke clumsily wading into the mess and called media members "pukes." The axe has been hanging over coach Randy Carlyle's head for the past year, and it looks like it will finally drop.
Hopefully these adorably sad Leafs fans can cheer up soon.
All photos via Getty