Announcer blasts Maple Leafs fans for pathetic showing during Game 3 vs. Bruins

Long-time announcer asks fans to provide more support to Maple Leafs following Game 3 loss to Bruins

Auston Matthews and Sheldon Keefe could use more support from the team's fans


The Toronto Maple Leafs are often the subject of the blame game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Despite having one of the most exciting and offensively explosive teams in the NHL, they have failed regularly in the postseason. While they start every playoff season with hope, they end it with regret. The Maple Leafs are coming off a loss at home to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of their opening round series, and Toronto play-by-play announce Joe Bowen blamed the team’s fans for their lack of enthusiasm as the game played out.


Specifically, Bowen called the fans out for being “reactive” rather than “proactive” as the Bruins pulled out a 4-2 victory at Scotiabank Arena to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Leafs had been victorious in Game 2 on the road as superstar Auston Matthews scored the game-winning goal, but they could not take advantage of their momentum when they played in front of their home fans.

Leafs fans were loud before the game and chanted regularly for the home team in the scoreless first period. The volume increased quite bit in the second when Matthew Knies scored on a pass from Mitch Marner and Toronto took a 1-0 lead. However, when the Bruins tied the game late in the second period on a goal by Trent Frederic, the crowd quieted down quite a bit.

Bowen had an issue with the fans turning down the volume.

“The idea of going to any sporting event to support the home team is to be PRO ACTIVE!!,” Bowen wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Give the team energy when they need it … not sitting down waiting to be REACTIVE. The players can’t say it but I will tonight’s crowd was VERY DISAPPOINTING.”

Head coach Sheldon Keefe fires shot at officials

Bowen has been announcing Leafs games on radio since the 1982-83 season and has been behind the microphone for more than 3,000 Toronto games. His signature “Holy Mackinaw” call for a big goals or an exciting Leafs play has allowed him to become one of the most popular broadcasters in Canada.

He is very clearly pro-Leafs in his broadcasts and he wants the team’s fans to show more enthusiasm as they support their team going forward.

Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe did not join Bowen in his assessment of the fans, but he did fire a veiled shot at the officials  in the game. He was upset that Bruins captain Brad Marchand was given as much latitude as he received during the game.

At one point in Game 3, cameras focused on Marchand’s battle with Maple Leaf forward Tyler Bertuzzi. Both players were quite physical with each other, and Marchand appeared to trip Bertuzzi after the two engaged in rough-housing tactics. “It’s an art, and he’s elite at it,” Keefe said in his postgame press conference about Marchand’s actions.

The Bruins tied the game shortly after that and Marchand would go on to score 2 goals and 1 assist in the decisive Bruins rally in the third period.

The Bruins and Leafs will meet in Game 4 in Toronto Saturday night.

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