Nothing can rattle Maple Leafs these days

Phil Kessel (left) and Jake Gardiner have an animated discussion at the start of practice on...

Phil Kessel (left) and Jake Gardiner have an animated discussion at the start of practice on Friday, jan. 31, 2014. (Michael Peake/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:08 PM ET

TORONTO - Not only have the Maple Leafs triumphed over various levels of opposition to create a five-game home winning streak, they’ve been able to weather elements unleashed by their own fans.

No one can blame the local populace for grumbling during some rocky starts in their recent run at the Air Canada Centre. The club has been up and down all season like a Justin Trudeau popularity poll and in games such as Thursday against the weak Florida Panthers, when they fell behind by two goals in the first period, one more would’ve released the hounds.

But by the opening minute of the second period the Leafs were ahead to stay, winning 6-3.

“Sometimes it doesn’t take too much for the crowd to start on us,” said defenceman Cody Franson. “But that’s the atmosphere we have here sometimes. We can’t let that be a factor. We have to play through that and get them on their feet.”

That was the case by the end of the night, with Franson atoning for his costly giveaway with a goal.


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