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Unite and Feel the Maple Leafs Passion

By: Adrienne Middlebrook

 

Sports fans that have never experienced a Toronto Maple Leafs home game are always in for quite the experience. Approaching the Air Canada Centre an hour prior to puck-drop is a whirlwind to the senses. A wave of blue and white can be seen filing through the doors, as fans start to chant 'Go Leafs Go' before the pre-game warm-up has even started. 

 

The Leafs have a long history in the city of Toronto dating back to 1927 when the Toronto St.Patrick's changed their name to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Every generation of Torontonians has a story about a Leafs game or player. Debates spark over family dinners and in bars over who the greatest Leaf of all time is, while others brag about how their friend of a friend went to high school with a Leafs player. Even when the team is on a losing streak, Leafs fans can be seen promising anything for a chance at tickets (every game since 2002 has been completely sold out).

 

Although the team hasn’t experienced much success lately, significant changes over the past six-years are starting to show some positive results. Changes in management, coaching and almost a completely new line-up have all characterized the teams attempt to re-build. First-liners Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul have both ranked as two of leagues top goal scorers, while general manager Brian Burke has made some key trades which have led to the team acquiring heavy hitting defenseman and current captain Dion Phaneuf.

 

The 2011-12 season may be the first time the Leafs see themselves in the playoffs in over five-years. During the first round you can be guaranteed Leafs Nation will be there as loud and proud as ever.  As the teams motto says, “It’s the passion that unites us all.”