Tonight and Tuesday night the Toronto Maple Leafs continue their road trip after leaving Ottawa with two points. Tonight they take on the Buffalo Sabres, who are having their yearly meltdown and continuing the “tank for good picks” part of the rebuild, rather than move on to the “lose in the first round of the playoffs three years in a row” stage.
After this home away from home game, the Leafs are moving on to Pittsburgh to take on the unkillable Penguins, who have stayed at the top of the NHL despite losing some of their best players - and the best player - for extended periods of time. No one can keep Mark Donk down.
They return home on Thursday night for the second game of a home and home with the Penguins as we count down to the 2020 NHL trade deadline.
With the Leafs having several superstars, there’s never been a better time to try and go see them play. I’ve been lucky enough to sit in the platinum's of the Scotiabank Arena, just two rows from the ice and watch Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner do their magic up close. I’ve also sat all the way up in the rafters where you can just barely make out the names of the players while they were in Buffalo. There’s really no bad place to see the Maple Leafs play, but do you have a preference?
You’re surrounded by your own kind. Leafs fans from wall to wall, all cheering on the Leafs (when not kissing a client’s bottom), everyone united in their passion for the blue and white. The Scotiabank Arena is probably one of the easiest to access arenas in the NHL, sitting at the base of an expressway, next to one of the biggest train stations in the country and the hub of the Toronto subway system. There’s a lot of fun in getting off the GO train, or walking down Bay St. in a giant crowd of people wearing Leafs jerseys, people getting themselves worked up for the game, and trying to guess which fans are on the border of being inadmissible to the game after drinking their way from Burlington to Toronto.
The downside is how hard it is to get a cheap ticket, by hard I mean almost impossible. The most popular team in the NHL believes strongly in supply and demand, and the prices reflect that. Not that it matters - general public tickets are gone within seconds of going on sale, and there are over ten thousand season ticket holders hanging on to the majority of seats.
Road trips are just plain fun, and when there’s a big event waiting for you at your destination, all the better. I’ve had a few of these trips; flying to Quebec City for the concert my wife waited her whole life to see (Peter Gabriel, it was amazing), driving to Florida for the kids’ first trip to Disney World, and of course several road trips down the 401 to Montreal for a Canadiens/Leafs game. Driving to Montreal on game day is an experience. When you stop for gas or lunch, odds are you’ll run into several other pairs or groups all decked out in Leafs or Habs jerseys. I once pumped gas outside Cornwall where every pump was occupied by someone in a Maple Leafs jersey (the Leafs would be blown out in this game as they always are when I’m in Montreal).
Loss or no, walking into the game is a treat when you’re a visitor. There’s lots of (hopefully) playful ribbing and jeering as you walk down the street, catching the eye of another visitor to enemy territory and knowing you aren’t alone, and occasionally getting pity sodas from the concession stand because it’s 6-1 for the Habs, and they know that the walk out of the rink won’t be any fun.
The downside to away games are those home team fans that don’t think you should be in their rink, and do their best to ruin your night. Knowing where to sit can be a big help - I’d suggest avoiding the upper decks in Boston and Philadelphia - since the pricier the face value, the less likely you’ll get a beer tossed at you.
Where to go?
It doesn’t matter where you go to see the Leafs, as long as you’re loud, and proud, and ready to see some of the best players in the league do their thing.
If you’re up for a last minute road trip, Buffalo isn’t too far, and Sabres season ticket holders have given up on the year, so it’s never been cheaper to see a game in Buffalo. Our partners at StubHub show me some tickets starting at $60 at the time I’m writing this. If you can swing a weekday road trip to Pittsburgh, you can see the Maple Leafs starting at just $30 a seat if you don’t mind altitude sickness.
If you’re a fancy person, you can grab some tickets for the home game on Thursday night, but those prices are....let’s just say you can get some awesome lower bowl seats in Buffalo or Pittsburgh for the cheapest seat in Toronto.
It’s safe and easy to buy some tickets on StubHub for away games, I’ve done it before, and if I can do it, anyway can.
StubHub makes this Promise:
BUY TICKETS WITH CONFIDENCE:
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Do you have some great stories of a road trip to see the Leafs? Maybe a tale of a rival fan giving up on their team and cheering for yours because theirs is just so bad (happened to me in Buffalo)? Maybe you were a great host at a home game for a visiting fan.
Whether you’re at home or on the road, always be the best ambassador for Leafs Nation you can.
Home or Away games?
This poll is closed
Home games all the way
I like to walk into enemy territory waving the Leafs flag
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