Death threats didn’t derail Jake DeBrusk from beating Maple Leafs

Matt Kalman
April 25, 2019 - 1:00 pm

Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk got more than another round of playoff experience during Boston’s seven-game victory against Toronto in the Eastern Conference first round.

He also learned the viciousness of social media trolls, and perhaps Maple Leafs fans.

As the Bruins-Maple Leafs series was heating up, and DeBrusk was going head-to-head passionately with Toronto center Nazem Kadri before Kadri’s suspension, the Boston left wing received personal attacks and death threats. It got so bad he deleted the social media apps from his phone.

DeBrusk described the situation after a morning skate Thursday in preparation for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference second round against Columbus.

“Yeah it was something that I didn’t really expect ever, and it was kind of first go-around with that,” DeBrusk said. “It’s something that didn’t really get to me, to be honest, but it was just kind of there and it wasn’t really stopping. So I just tried to defuse it, especially when it gets to the family, it gets a little different.

“But in saying that I think the guys in the room here really took me in and helped me kind of get over that. You know we have some guys that have had some similar reactions over their times. They really helped me and I think the best way to go about that is that we won the series and we don’t have to deal with them for at least another year.”

DeBrusk played a major role in getting the Bruins past the Maple Leafs, scoring a crucial goal in Game 6, when the Bruins were at the brink of elimination.

“It was nice. It was a big relief. Just to be able to score at that time was nice as well,” he said about the goal.

Although he was quieted on the ice in Game 3 through 5, DeBrusk said the threats didn’t affect him between the boards. But off the ice it was disconcerting, especially since there were some unkind things said in person in the area around the rink as well.

“I mean I don’t think there’s really a place and a time for death threats, stuff like that,” he said. “But it’s 2019, social media, there are people that are on the other side of that as well. You know they’ll think you’re a god or they’ll want to kill you. So it is what it is and you can’t take it too seriously either way.”

DeBrusk finished with one goal and one assist in the series.

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