Leafs stumble but fans remain loyal
Downtown filled with Leafs fans dressed in blue and white
It may have been a disappointing return to the playoffs for the Maple Leafs, but their fans aren't giving up yet.
On Wednesday the Leafs lost 4-1 to the Boston Bruins — the first time the Buds have played a post-season game in nine years.
It means the Leafs now trail the Bruins 1-0 in the best of seven series.
But in downtown bars, on the streets — anywhere hockey fans gather — there were words of hope and encouragement.
"I think we're obviously going to win game number two," said Ray Moidlatinsky. Then laid out his theory on how the Leafs will take games three and four in their home rink.
"You gotta be hopeful," said another diehard fan, Bryan Clayton. "As a Leafs fan if you weren't hopeful you wouldn't be a Leafs fan."
At Maple Leaf Square, fans gathered to watch the game, enjoy the atmosphere and try to whip up some enthusiasm.
Toronto is clad in blue and white.
"The team's so great this year ... everybody's ecstatic and it's just going to be a party," said Shazia Manji. "It's going to be a week-long — hopefully monthlong — party."
Former Leaf Darcy Tucker showed up earlier in the day to lend his support to the current team and share his memories of what it meant when the city got behind the team.
"Leafs jerseys, flags on the cars. I remember playing at this time and ... watching the people out here today and knowing what's going to happen tonight around the city of Toronto is definitely exciting for the city," said Tucker.
Bars and restaurants are just hoping to be able to keep up.
"It's just making sure we have enough beer and food to provide for the chaos for a first playoff game against Boston," said Rachel Kilian.
At Kilgour's Bar in the Annex, owner Andrew Kilgour was looking ahead.
"If it goes to the second round and it's Leafs-Habs, it's going to be ridiculous."
Despite Wednesday's loss the fans say the series is far from over.
The two teams tangle again on Saturday night in Boston.