Toronto Maple Leafs 13-Year Sellout Streak Ends
Anytime the Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled, the franchise has always had the support of its die-hard fans to ease the on-ice disappointment. Well, that was until Monday night when the people who bleed blue decided to not show up — literally.Mar 16, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Fans in attendance as the Edmonton Oilers host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Chris LaFrance-USA TODAY Sports
When the Maple Leafs announced an attendance of 18,366 at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night, it marked the first time in 13 years that the team has failed to sell out a home game. To make matters worse, the crowd at the ACC was actually the lowest ever for a Leafs’ game since the team moved into the building 16 years ago.
But the fans aren’t the only ones fed up with the team’s lack of effort. Even network television is moving on from the Leafs, as the CBC bumped the team from their usual Saturday night slot this past weekend, demoting the historic franchise to one of Sportsnet’s channels. Heck, even Don Cherry has had enough of the Buds, saying that it was “sad to watch” a team that looks to have rolled over and died.
Rolled over and died might be a kind description when you actually look at the team’s terrifying statistics. To be honest, their abysmal record of 6-26-3 since January 1 is bad enough to scare kids away from the team.
But if you think the record looks terrible, the on-ice play has been far worse when you consider some of these statistics.
Since the start of 2015:
- The Maple Leafs have been outscored 123-65
- They have lost 18 games by two or more goals
- Their power play is 15-for-121, converting at a gaudy 12% success rate
- They have been outshot in 21 of their 35 games
- They are 4-25-7 in the first period
The list of statistics can go on and on, but many fans are already well aware.
To be blunt, the statistics are embarrassing, the play is pitiful, and the on-ice product has become unwatchable. So really, who could blame the fans for not showing up?
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The final haymaker punch of humiliation could come on Saturday night, though, when the Ottawa Senators visit town. Without a doubt the hordes of Sens’ fans will be looking to benefit from the Leafs’ tough times. After years of Toronto fans invading the Corel/Scotiabank/Canadian Tire Centre with a strong showing of Blue and White, Saturday night will finally give Sens’ supporters a chance to return the favour.
Even with the team offering tickets at a 50% discount, the support for the Maple Leafs will more than likely be a far cry from what it usually is, especially when the team appears to not even be trying.