15 Most Ruthless Fanbases in Hockey
Hockey has its share of ruthless fan bases throughout North America. This includes fans of NHL, junior league, minor league and college hockey teams.
Passionate fans love to get behind their team, but when the players, coaches and management don't meet expectations, these supporters aren't afraid to voice their displeasure.
Let's look at the 15 most ruthless fanbases in hockey.
Toronto is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame and the most passionate hockey fans on the planet. They support the Maple Leafs and Marlies (AHL) very well and are quick to criticize their players, coaches and general managers when there is little success.
A lot of players don't have the mental toughness to play for a Toronto area team because if you struggle and/or don't give full effort, the fans and media will rip you apart.
The Montreal Canadiens have won an NHL-record 24 Stanley Cups, so it's not surprising that their fans demand success and are quite unhappy when the team doesn't produce positive results.
The Canadiens fans have also rioted on several occasions, booed the United States national anthem and called 911 when Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara injured forward Max Pacioretty at the Bell Centre during the 2010-11 season.
Montreal fans are ruthless, passionate and a bit crazy as well.
Philadelphia fans are ruthless regardless if they are cheering for their Flyers, Phillies, 76ers or Eagles. They are so hungry for championships, but have only seen one of them from a pro sports team since 1983.
Many years of playoff disappointments have made Flyers fans some of the most ruthless in the NHL.
Philly fans are among the most vocal in all of hockey, but to their credit, they do show up every night and support their Flyers during good times and bad.
For much of the last decade, the Bruins were the only team in Boston not at a championship level, so their fans, who were already ruthless, become even more intense.
If you don't give maximum effort and play a physical style of hockey in Boston, then your chances of winning the fans' approval aren't very good.
Boston is one of the best places to have success in as a hockey player, but for players who regularly underperform (like Joe Thornton), it's one of the toughest cities to play in.
Boston is also the home of the best college hockey. Schools such as Boston College and Boston University are almost always NCAA title contenders, and the Beanpot is one of the most prestigious hockey tournaments in North America.
Even though Chicago fans didn't show up to games in huge numbers for a long time prior to the recent success of the team, they have supported their Blackhawks extremely well over the past few seasons.
Chicago fans helped the Blackhawks have the highest average attendance in the league this season with 21,533 fans per game. These fans are also among the most vocal and passionate in the NHL.
Vancouver Canucks fans have waited over four decades to see their team win the Stanley Cup, and it hasn't happened yet. Understandably, this situation has helped make them some of the most intense fans in hockey.
The fans expect their team to compete every season, and when they underperform, they are certainly willing to voice their displeasure toward the players, head coach and general manager.
Edmonton Oilers fans are very passionate fans and are willing to pay high ticket prices to go to a below-average arena and watch a team that hasn't been to the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.
These fans are quick to criticize their team when it isn't winning, but to their credit, these fans are very intelligent hockey people.
Even though the Sabres have never won the Stanley Cup and haven't enjoyed too much playoff success in recent years, the fans in Buffalo are very supportive and are ruthless toward their team's opponents.
Whenever a rival like the New York Rangers or Boston Bruins come to town, you know that the First Niagara Center will have a great atmosphere. To be honest, Sabres home games usually have a raucous atmosphere regardless of the opponent.
New York has plenty of ruthless fans regardless of the sport. New Yorkers expect all their teams to play at a high level each season, and the Rangers are no different.
If you struggle in New York, your failures will be magnified by fans to a level unlike any other city. The Rangers have some of the best fans in the NHL and are hoping that their team can finally get back to the Stanley Cup Final next season.
If they don't, the fans won't take long to point out the team's problems and identify which players underperformed and need to be traded.
Minnesota Wild fans are extremely passionate and make the Xcel Energy Center a tough place to play for NHL teams.
Now that the team will be a top contender in the Western Conference with the summer signings of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, the league will get a better idea of how intense Minnesota fans are when it comes to NHL hockey.
The state is also full of many ruthless college hockey fans, who are quite passionate when cheering for schools like the University of Minnesota and many others.
Michigan (Detroit, Ann Arbor, East Lansing)
Michigan hockey fans are some of the most knowledgeable fans in the sport, but they are also ruthless at times.
The state is home to many college hockey fans who give the University of Michigan and Michigan State University a raucous arena to play in for each home game.
Red Wings fans are extremely loyal, and while they are certainly vocal and intense, they aren't as crazy as the state's diehard college hockey fans.
The Sharks have only been an NHL franchise since 1991, but unlike most of the league's California/Southern USA fanbases, the people of San Jose support their team very well and are ruthless too.
Sharks fans aren't afraid to boo their own players when they underperform in the playoffs, which has been an annual occurrence over the last decade.
The HP Pavilion is one of the louder NHL arenas and is an intimidating place to play for visiting teams because of the intensity that the fans bring each night.
It was fantastic to see Winnipeg get an NHL franchise again when the Jets made their return to Manitoba last season.
Winnipeg has some of the best and most intense fans in all of hockey. They boo the opposing team's players a lot (especially the opposing captain) and come up with clever chants that mock their opponents (see the video to the left).
The MTS Center is an intimidating place to play because the Winnipeg fans are ruthless, passionate and very loyal.
Quebec hockey fans are knowledgeable, passionate, ruthless and fully deserve an NHL franchise as soon as possible.
It's a shame that a huge amount of intense hockey fans have been without an NHL team to cheer for since the 1995-96 season.
Whenever Quebec gets another NHL team, it will certainly be one of the toughest places to play for visiting teams.
The Colorado Avalanche may not be at the top of the attendance charts (25th in attendance percentage last season), but hockey fans in Denver are some of the most passionate in America.
This passion is evident at college hockey games for the University of Denver and Colorado College, where the atmosphere in the arenas is incredible.