Leafs president addresses lopsided results, players opting not to salute fans

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have won big – like when they crushed the Boston Bruins 6-1 on Nov. 12.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have also lost big – like when they were crushed by the Buffalo Sabres 6-2 on Nov. 15 and 9-2 by the Nashville Predators on Nov. 18.

Up and down the Leafs and their fans go through the month of November. One extreme to the other, it seems of late. Quite the emotional roller coaster. Even when they win, there’s controversy. For instance: the Leafs decided not to salute the fans following their victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

And this has become a major issue in that city, resulting in apparently chilly exchanges between a reporter and captain Dion Phaneuf the following day.

Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, speaking on TSN Drive on Friday, addressed that topic, as well as his team’s recent results.

Shanahan tried to put everything into perspective.

“If you want to talk about lopsided scores, just look around the league. It’s happening in every city, every night,” Shanahan said, his team sixth in the Atlantic Division.

“We’re not in a unique situation, so the important thing for me is not to panic, to stick together as a group.”

He then talked about the external pressure from a fan base that saw the Leafs make it to the playoffs in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, but falter down the stretch and miss the post-season last spring.

“I can’t reiterate enough that our group of players, they do love playing here. They understand there’s a lot of pressure and sometimes that is tough when that pressure is going against you,” said Shanahan.

“They’ve seen on different occasions what it’s like when they go out … in a game like last night, just give that kind of effort that they expect from themselves and they get rewarded from the fans with the love.”