It can be fierce. It can come from people steaming with rage. It can fill a building in no time at all.
It can also be turned into cheers in a matter of seconds.
Just ask Dennis Wideman, the Bruins' defenseman who has been having a bad season, to put it nicely. So when Wideman's dump-in attempt was stopped by Derek Roy, and when Roy outskated Wideman through the Bruins' zone, and when Roy beat Tuukka Rask to put the Sabres up 1-0 on Thursday night, the fans voiced their displeasure with Wideman.
And they continued. Each time Wideman touched the puck, the boos flew down mercilessly from the home crowd.
Then, in a 1-1 game early in the third period, Wideman put a shot on net. With Blake Wheeler screening goaltender Patrick Lalime, Wideman's shot found the back of the cage, giving the Bruins the eventual game-winning goal.
Instantly, the boos gave way to celebration.
"It was actually pretty funny," teammate Mark Recchi told NESN.com's James Murphy after the 3-1 win, "because [Wideman] looked up and joked, 'Watch, I'll score a goal and they will still boo me!' Then he goes out and does it."
Wideman, after finishing last season with a plus-32 rating and 50 points from the blue line, has frustrated B's fans all season with his minus-15 rating and 28 points. He admitted that playing in front of a booing home crowd is difficult, but he didn't express any anger toward the fans.
"Obviously it's not easy [for me]," Wideman told Murphy. "It's a little harder when you're trying to make a play or trying to be patient with the puck when that is going on, but that is part of the game. They can do whatever they want. They pay to come to the game. Obviously at the start of the year and most of the year, things didn't go as well as I would like or as it has in the past. I just have to prove to them that I can still play and I still want to win."
Wideman's goal on Thursday was his second in as many games, as his tally on Monday tied things up just seconds before the Bruins and Capitals headed to the dressing rooms for the first intermission. The B's picked up a crucial point in that game as well.
Obviously, two games don't make up for an entire season, but for anyone searching for a positive, Wideman provided plenty this week.