Ice quality is an important thing when you want your hockey team to do well. If the ice is very well made and prepared for a game, the puck won’t bounce as much, skates won’t catch in ruts, and the players know that the facilities managers are on their side.
The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t playing very well lately. They started off the season well, but after those first few games things were getting pretty sloppy and bad. I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of the cause. Is it the line up? No, everything’s going okay, I mean fourth liner Matt Martin is outscoring some top line players the past few games. Is it the coach? No, despite what Red Wings fans say Mike Babcock is an excellent coach, he’s won Olympic, world championship, and world junior gold medals. What is it? Us fans are super supportive and we all want team to do well, no one is thinking the season is ruined, right? So what could it be? Finally, I figured out what the issue is.
The Toronto Raptors.
Now I’m not all that crazy thinking a venue can’t support two teams. After all,the Toronto Blue Jays kicked the Argos out of the Rogers Centre and then they went to play in two ALCS series. It can’t be a coincidence.
Let’s check things out.
Converting the Air Canada Centre from hockey to basketball takes place overnight and takes up to sixteen hours to complete. 25 people walking all over the ice, getting their body heat on it after a game when the ice should be resting, it’s insane. Check it out.
Now, the ACC will say that black insulation keeps the ice at the optimal temperature, but how can we trust them. They just want to make money off the Toronto Raptors, they don’t really care about keeping the field fresh and ready for the Leafs.
Another point is that having a hardwood basketball court over top of the ice isn’t good for it. With the court laying on top of the ice, and the players running and jumping all over it, it makes the ice get warm and a little watery on top. This isn’t letting the ice freeze and solidify for the next game. Too much movement makes a mushy, slushy ice. You can put all the fancy wood and tarps on it you want. It’s not making the ice any easier to skate on.
Another problem is that having a second team in the Air Canada Centre, one that is popular no less, brings in even more people to heat up the place. The Toronto Maple Leafs are a good NHL franchise and you can measure that by looking at their attendance. Averaging 18,000 people is good for the team as it makes them feel loved, but those people are pretty warm and it makes the arena hot.
With the Raptors averaging almost 20,000 people per game that’s more nights that the arena is overheating and more nights the ice can’t settle. Also, since the basketball court is smaller than the hockey rink, those extra people are sitting right on top of the ice. ON THE ICE. I just can’t even.
If MLSE is serious about letting the Maple Leafs succeed and wants to rake in that sweet, sweet, playoff money they need to treat this team better. I don’t want to be in the crowd of the Stanley Cup Final game seven, sweating so much because we’re playing deep into June, and see Auston Matthews miss the cup winning shot in the shootout because the Raptors fudged up the ice the week before.
People would riot.
So where will the Toronto Raptors go? What will they do?
Well, BMO Field sounds like a fun place to play.