Michael Bunting's emotion undermining Maple Leafs' misson

Michael Bunting's playing style is predicated on passion but in recent games, the Maple Leafs forward has had less luck drawing penalties and more with antagonizing the opposition and officials.

Video Transcript

- All right. If you know me, you know I'm a huge Michael Bunting fan. Again, have his jersey right there. But Michael Bunting needs to chill. I love the rat energy. I love the agitation. I love how he likes to chirp and he likes to piss off the opposition. And I make the joke that he makes friends every single game.

However, it's getting to a point now where officiating legitimately does not like him, and they're making it clear. And he gets all these penalties, and the opposition doesn't. And all the things happen to him, and other teams get away with it. And it's going to continue to get worse.

So Michael Bunting needs to chill. I've said it. I'll say it again. He needs to chill because he's not doing himself and he's not doing the rest of the team any favors. And, yeah, you know, Michael Bunting was-- at a time-- was great at drawing penalties. There was a time where he was literally one of, like, in the top 10 of penalties drawn in the league.

But now officiating has caught on to it. They've seen the moments where he embellishes. Not just a little, like, a lot. It happens, right? And is getting to the point now where, yeah, it's impacting the team, and it's impacting him as well. And I think we're at a point now for him where if you want to piss people off, do it with your play on the ice.

Score big goals. Taunt them afterwards. But teams are starting to get into his head a little bit. I really saw it against Columbus where he's taking the bait. They're chirping him a little bit. They're making all their signs saying, like, oh, all you do is talk, all you do is talk. And he's getting nabbed for it every single time. He gets the penalties, and then things happen to him and then nothing gets called. Is it right? No. Is it fair? No. But that's the reality.

That's what it is and it's going to get 50 times worse once the playoffs start. And we have all seen, time and time again, officiating getting in the way of the Leafs in the playoffs. And I don't want to see that again. Heck, if you're a Philadelphia Eagles fan, you're probably still mad about the Super Bowl. Sorry about that. Right? But we've seen moments of officiating getting in the way, and I really don't want officiating to get in the way of the Leafs in the playoffs. And I really don't want Michael Bunting to be the reason why that happens.

So, Bunting love you, dude. Keep doing your on-ice stuff. But just take a step back. Take a breath. Officiating is bad right now. They've always been bad. Hopefully, they'll be better next year, but we got a mission, man. And I really do believe that, for the Leafs to complete that mission, we need you to stop being so mad.