‘We did not want to disrespect our fans’: Leafs salute supporters after beating Red Wings

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The Toronto Maple Leafs won. And then they saluted their fans.

Perhaps this dissipates the storm that has been brewing for the past couple of days, after the Leafs snubbed their fans by opting not to raise their sticks in tribute to those in attendance following a recent win. Oh the controversy that swirled. This was a big deal.

But after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday, courtesy a trio of third period goals, the Maple Leafs gathered as a team and acknowledged their supporters.

“We talked about in our room (and) we did not want to disrespect our fans at all,” said captain Dion Phaneuf, according to Mark Masters of TSN.

After all, what other choice did they have?

The team’s president Brendan Shanahan spoke about the matter on Friday, and Don Cherry, during his Coach’s Corner segment, chimed when he was given the opportunity.

“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in my life with Toronto,” said Cherry on Saturday. “I couldn’t believe that these guys would do something like this to the fans.”

More importantly, the Leafs have recovered from recent blowout losses to Buffalo and Nashville, which started this week’s drama, to win two in a row. Just in case that got lost amongst people.

And those wins came against the Tampa Bay Lightning, challenging for top spot in the Eastern Conference, and the Detroit Red Wings.