The Edmonton Oilers seemingly hit rock bottom on Thursday night, falling 6-0 to the Florida Panthers in front of their home fans at Rogers Place.
Edmonton is 2-11-2 over its past 15 games, and has tumbled down the Western Conference standings after a hot start had the team looking like a lock for a playoff spot. Thursday's defeat prompted some harsh behaviour from fans attending the game, with multiple jerseys tossed on the ice late in the third period.
Things are certainly looking bleak in Alberta's capital, but Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand thinks throwing jerseys out of frustration is taking things a step too far. He even called out the fans on social media, implying that franchise cornerstones Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl won't stay with the team if its supporters don't clean up their act.
brad marchand in his bag rn. heal well king pic.twitter.com/G9TlmuEguc
— Gabriela Carroll (@gablcarroll) January 21, 2022
It's not the first time this season that Marchand has taken aim at Canadian hockey fans, saying that sometimes such heated passion for the game can have a negative impact.
"There’s a lot of cases where teams don’t do well in Canada, that it’s hard on players,” Marchand said in a press conference in November. “Their families get picked on, their kids get picked on at school. So, you know, the fans can be a big part of why teams don’t have success. Because they make it miserable on the players at times.
"They definitely push guys away to go to teams that don’t have that kind of fan base. So, sometimes the fans out there need to look themselves in the mirror as well.”
Luckily, Oilers fans still have plenty of time to atone for their sins. McDavid is signed through the 2025-26 campaign, while Draisaitl hits free agency one year prior.
It's been a busy week for Marchand both on and off the ice. In addition to voicing his displeasure with Oilers fans, the 33-year-old got into a viral spat with Vincent Trocheck and the Carolina Hurricanes themselves. He also jokingly stole a young fan's phone after warmups on Thursday night, recording a quick video message in the process.
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