Toronto Maple Leafs fans are taking out their frustrations on each other.
At least two separate skirmishes between fans broke out, viral video shows, after their team lost, 2-1, in Game 7 to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. A shirtless man was chased in circles by another man, who swung at least four times but never seemed to connect. Police slowly reacted to break up the second fight that saw fans rolling around on the floor.
There is no knowing what started the fights.
But there is plenty of reason for Maple Leafs fans to be frustrated after the most predictable first-round series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs played out exactly as expected.
The Lightning’s hope for a three-peat lives on as they won the final two games against the Maple Leafs when facing elimination to capture their ninth straight series since a first-round elimination as heavy favorites in the 2019 playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs still haven’t won a series since 2004. The drought includes seven straight lost series dating to 2013, highlighted by six one-and-done exits in the last six years.
What’s more agonizing? The Maple Leafs have 10 straight losses when facing a chance to close out a series. The list includes blowing a 3-1 series lead on the Canadiens in 2021 but started with memorably blowing a three-goal lead in the final nine minutes of a Game 7 against the Bruins in 2013.
In this case, the Maple Leafs only blew a 3 games-to-2 lead. But the referees stoked the flames of controversy in the one-goal loss in Game 7 by disallowing John Tavares’ goal because of an interference call on teammate Justin Holl.
No goal. No win. See you next year.
Them’s fightin’ words.
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