Maple Leafs radio announcer Joe Bowen calls out the Game 3 home crowd for lack of energy

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
1 day ago
Scotiabank Arena has a reputation of having the same vibes as a library throughout Toronto Maple Leafs’ regular season home games and during Game 3 against the Boston Bruins, at times, you could hear a pin drop. It appears the fact the Stanley Cup Playoffs have started hasn’t ignited the energy of the attending fan base.
How bad was it? So bad, that legendary play-by-play announcer Joe Bowen decided to call the fans out on social media after the game.
Ex-Maple Leaf Carlo Colaiacovo was also in the building for Game 3 and he felt Bowen nailed the bullseye with his assessment, stating he felt the same way. Leading up to the game isn’t the issue, there’s always good pop when the players come out, through the announcements and then for whatever reason, once the puck drops it goes from electric to nervous energy. Simon Benoit felt it immediately as on his first shift, just 40 seconds into the game,  he panicked and sent the puck over the glass and was assessed a two-minute penalty. Luckily for him, the Maple Leafs killed it off.
Back to the crowd. What’s the issue? Just because tickets are expensive means the fans aren’t able to cheer? It seemed like there were more jerseys than suits in the building and the team provided the crowd with passion towels on their seats, in hopes they would be waved throughout the game. After commercial breaks, after a penalty kill, perhaps even during a power play to try and get the Leafs energized, but that wasn’t the case at all.
Sure, after both goals the towels were flying but as Bowen points out, it needs to be more than that. Other arenas are tough to play in this time of year because the crowd is going bananas for no apparent reason, other than the fact it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs and they’re going to do whatever they can to bring some energy into the building and straight into the home team’s legs. Right now, the passion is limited and seems to pick its spots.
Was it all bad? No. Could it have been more passionate in Scotiabank Arena for Game 3? Absolutely. I loved it during the late stages of the first period when everyone was hitting everyone and Ryan Reaves and Benoit both sent Bruins flying, the building was rocking.
Unfortunately, the noise didn’t last. I put part of the blame on the players as well. Especially on the power play when they seem so lackadaisical and play with absolutely no sense of urgency. The amount of time that’s spent backtracking into their own zone and re-grouping is far too much for the way this team is built. Ilya Samsonov comes out to play pucks and should be helping push the pace up the ice and instead Morgan Rielly or whoever, just takes the puck and regroups behind the net. It kills way too much time, especially for a team that is struggling to generate anything with the man advantage. Not one drip of urgency and then once the play is set up, they don’t pepper the goalie with shots, instead the Leafs try to find the perfect pass or the easy tap-in, and frankly, it doesn’t create any energy on the ice or in the crowd for that matter.
Some Leafs fans who read this will complain that the players make all the money and shouldn’t have to use the crowd to get them hyped up and energized for the game. Meanwhile, it feels like most will agree with Bowen’s assessment and then there will be a few who didn’t notice just how bad it truly was. At the end of the day, Game 4 on Saturday night feels like a must-win and if the Maple Leafs are finally going to punch back their bully, it’s going to take constant encouragement from the home crowd.

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