The thing about hockey teams is that when you single out one player for rough treatment, they all pile in to defend him.
Incoming Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, a former federal sports minister and self-confessed Montreal Canadiens super-fan, surely already knew this.
But in case he didn't, he's being given an object lesson.
On Sunday night Coderre tweeted that Habs centre David Desharnais, who has one point in 16 games, should be given a one-way ticket to the team's minor-league affiliate in Hamilton.
When Habs winger Max Pacioretty was asked about the remark by a reporter, he seemed almost grateful at the opportunity to tee off on Coderre.
"I found out about that this morning, I'm very, very upset about that. What, does he think he's going to do, coach our team tomorrow? That's embarrassing," he said.
Teammate Josh Gorges added: "it's really easy to kick someone when they're down."
Coach Michel Therrien also added his two cents: "it's very inappropriate for a mayor."
Now, Coderre may well be on the side of the fans this time - Desharnais's struggles have led to much open-line exasperation and put paid to the idea fans tend to go easier on Quebec-born players.
It's also true that teams search for galvanizing moments, and often rally against perceived critics and external enemies.
Providing a common cause for his beloved team to rally around may not fly as a rationalization should Coderre try it out.
By the standard of recent mayoral missteps in this country Coderre's tweet barely rates mention.
But the sensitivities Montrealers have toward their hockey team will almost certainly require some sort of reaction.