MAY 13, 2013 – I had the idea to shoot at Maple Leafs Square in the morning so made sure to take to work the bare essentials I would need if I decided to go. I wasn’t planning to watch the game there – too much other stuff to do. But my office is about 5 minutes away from the Air Canada Centre and my plan was to watch the game at my office – and if there was a chance the Leafs could win – I would hustle my ass down to the Square and bullshit my way in somehow (which I did) to shoot what would certainly be a sports celebration Toronto hasn’t seen in a while.
When the Leafs shockingly went up 4-1 with ten minutes to play I figured, “we got this!” and made my way to the Square. When I arrived it was 4-2 and there was definitely a nervous energy in the air. It was my first experience watching the Leafs in this place and I couldn’t help but think this was going to be an amazing spot to shoot the fans going nuts as the Leafs clinch what was going to be a historic playoff victory.
Well, we all know how it turned out. Still, while I expected to be shooting fans in ecstasy – I was reminded agony also presents plenty of good photo opportunities. (All photos Richard Budman)
As with any potential sports celebration – the Toronto Police were ready and waiting. When York st. (just west of the Square) was filled with people just hanging around. The police deployed a strange tactic of rushing their horses up the street. Well, it certainly worked clearing the people. It also seemed to create a photo opportunity for a few folks.
PHOTOGRAPHERS NOTE: No question this was a crazy night. I fully expected when entering MLSQ to be shooting a very different emotion – a celebration in fact. But that’s the great thing about sports – anything can happen. I’m still proud of the 2013 Toronto Maple Leafs. This team finally brought meaningful hockey back to the city.