Another game and another Toronto Maple Leafs jersey found its way onto the Air Canada Centre ice.
The Leafs dropped the first of a home-and-home series with the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 Friday in a game where the Leafs were thoroughly outplayed from the opening faceoff. With the game out of reach late in the third period, a No. 3 blue-and-white was hurled onto the ice by a disgruntled fan.
After the game, No. 3 himself disapproved.
“I think it’s disappointing to see. I think there are better ways of voicing their displeasure,” Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf told reporters after the game. “Anytime you lose in the National Hockey League, as players we’re not happy about it. The fans have a right to be upset; they come to support us; they want to see winning hockey and we want to win for them, but when we don’t play well, it’s unfortunate when jerseys are thrown on the ice. It’s not the majority of fans…but I don’t like seeing it.”
Phaneuf finished the game with 21:02 of ice-time for the Leafs — second only to Jake Gardiner — and took two minor penalties.
Last week, during the Leafs’ 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Hockey Night in Canada, a fan threw their jersey on the ice to a round of applause.
“Here we go again. I can’t say I like seeing that, Paul. As an ex-player it’s tough to watch,” colour commentator Greg Millen told play-by-play man Paul Romanuk on the Sportsnet Ontario broadcast Friday, adding that he feels it’s disrespectful to do something like that.