Hockey fans tend to feel their blood boil whenever the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town.
That’s no different in Vancouver.
Whether it’s the flood of blue and white at Rogers Arena or the early start time, there are a number of reasons for Vancouver Canucks fans to dislike Maple Leafs fans.
The irony about the West Coast hatred of Toronto? There’s not much that separates the two fan bases.
So as the Maple Leafs and Canucks set to face each other for the first time this season, let’s look at how Canucks fans share similarities with the most hated fanbase in the city.
1. Both fanbases are annoying
Although the rationales might differ, there’s no arguing that most of the hockey world dislikes both Canucks and Maple Leafs fans.
More than 4,500(!) of you answered the fanbase survey. Here are the results.
Which NHL team has the most annoying fanbase?
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) December 17, 2021
Any minor controversy with the Maple Leafs tends to get massive media attention because of the sheer volume of fans in the market.
While the media attention makes sense, that doesn’t earn them any more respect across the rest of Canada.
And, as we’ll get to below, there’s a tendency for Maple Leafs fans to overreact at the slightest bit of controversy.
However, is that argument any different in Vancouver?
The Canucks of course, aren’t well-liked around the NHL either.
When it pertains to overreactions, is there one bigger than rioting in your own city after losing a hockey game?
While the Leafs were the runaway winners of JFresh Hockey’s poll back in December, there was a time when the Canucks were once considered to be the most annoying fans in the NHL.
Is it time for these fanbases to bond over their shared repulsion?
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2. Both have thrown jerseys on the ice… THIS SEASON!
Everyone who’s casually aware of what’s going on with the Canucks knows about the infamous jersey throw that happened on Saturday, December 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
— Trevor Beggs (@TrevBeggs) December 5, 2021
Of course, that was the last game before the Canucks cleaned house. General manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green were both fired the next day.
While tossing a jersey on the ice can be considered disrespectful, you could at least see the rationale from the Canucks fan who decided he had enough.
The same can’t be said for the Maple Leafs fan who decided to toss a jersey onto the ice earlier this season.
Done and done. pic.twitter.com/QEW8T87lKh
— s dedo (@StefanDeDo) October 23, 2021
Just five games into the 2021-22 campaign, one Maple Leafs fan tossed a jersey onto the ice after a 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
The loss put the Leafs at 2-2-1 on the season. It was also their first home loss in regulation.
Canucks fans might have their moments being delusional, but this meltdown is on another level.
Which NHL fanbase is most prone to having complete meltdowns over nothing?
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) December 17, 2021
3. Both unfairly criticize star players
There’s both historical and recent examples of both fanbases overreacting due to the performances of star players.
William Nylander, despite having the underlying profile of a top-line winger, has received heavy criticism from the fan base.
It almost became comical that Leafs fans were trying to run Nylander out of town after a down season in 2018-19, where he struggled after a contract dispute. Since the beginning of the 2019-20 season, Nylander ranks 44th in the entire league, averaging 0.88 points per game.
Mitch Marner has also received his fair share of criticism for subpar playoff performances, but he’s still one of the most productive forwards in hockey. He sits 10th overall in the NHL with 1.17 points per game since 2019-20.
In Vancouver, the same thing tends to happen. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, there was traction among a small portion of fans for trading franchise centre Elias Pettersson.
This history of being overly critical of star players applied to the last Maple Leafs core, where fans turned on Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf. Canucks fans did the same to Roberto Luongo once upon a time as well.
4. Both think HNIC is out to get them
The reasons might differ, but the feeling remains the same.
Canucks fans believe Hockey Night in Canada is against them, especially whenever the Leafs come to town.
For years, every time the Canucks play a home game against the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada, the start time is a Toronto-friendly 4 pm.
You’ll hear Leafs fans argue that it’s for the betterment of viewership, but is it really fair that they get different treatment compared to their fellow Eastern Canadian counterparts in Montreal and Ottawa?
Recently, Leafs fans also believed that HNIC was working against them.
At least, that was the case when Jim Hughson was calling games.
For years, Maple Leafs fans have complained about Hughson. They ripped him for one missed call (which happens to even the best broadcasters) and complained further about his lack of passion when the Leafs score.
5. Both have suffered immensely
There’s an easy rationale as to why both Maple Leafs and Canucks fans tend to overreact at the smallest bit of controversy, and why they can be overly critical of star players.
Both franchises have combined to go 105 years without winning a Stanley Cup.
Toronto last won the Stanley Cup in 1967, while the Canucks never won since entering the league in 1970.
It’s easy to conclude that the suffering of both fanbases has led to a number of meltdowns and delusions over the years.
And, for Canucks fans to realize that they aren’t that different from Maple Leafs fans, probably doesn’t help the suffering all that much.