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Cherry praises fans for peaceful viewing of Leafs playoff series

Fans cheer at the start of the first period as Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Boston Bruins during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final at Toronto's Maple Leaf Square on Sunday, May 12, 2013.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

Don Cherry took a veiled shot at Vancouver that earned him an ovation from Toronto Maple Leafs fans.

Speaking during the Coach's Corner segment on "Hockey Night in Canada," the hockey commentator noted Sunday there were thousands of people watching Game 6 between the Leafs and Boston Bruins outside Toronto's Air Canada Centre but no signs of violence or discord.

"There's 20,000 people outside this building there," said Cherry. "They don't wreck things, they're good Canadian hockey fans and they don't wreck things, they love hockey and that's the way it should be."

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CBC cut to a shot of the crowd outside the arena, which cheered as Cherry praised them.

A riot broke out in Vancouver after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins. An estimated $4.2 million of damage was done to the city, with almost 200 people charged with various offences and 56 convictions.

Despite Cherry's assertions on Saturday, the crowds gathering outside the ACC for the Maple Leafs first playoff series in nine years have not always been peaceful.

After Toronto's 2-1 victory in Boston on Friday, a group of hockey fans damaged a taxi cab north of Maple Leaf Square by standing on top of the car and ripping its sign off the roof.

Police dispersed the rowdy group, moving them further north toward the city's subway system.

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