People are irritated by booing because they'd rather you be cheering. Support your team, don't root against the other team. Thats where the "elitist" attitude comes from, its hard to respect someone who clearly shows their dislike the visiting team more than their appreciation for the home team. That right there is my problem with booing. I wish it were like Europe or Canada too where we were all standing all game and screaming and singing, but I hate when people put all their attention to waiting for one player to touch the puck so they can boo him rather than just cheering when their own team has the puck.
If you can find one person here that has complained about their team being cheered on I'll concede the argument.
Who said they're mutually exclusive to one another. Quite the contrary, I would argue that it's the people booing that are more vocal on a whole towards the game. Unfortunately where I sit, there's too many people who do neither. Instead the only time you hear them is when they're criticizing their own team. Now, I think everyone can agree that makes no sense (as well as yelling "shoot" when there's no lane). I may say that was a dumb pass by Orpik, but I won't sit there and criticize a player over and over (please see Whitney, Staal, Sydor, etc. which is all I ever hear from the idiots in front of us). I get overly excited, cheer, and boo the other team because at that moment I hate them because they're not my team. If I think it's a bad call, I boo the refs just as much. As a fan, when I hear thousands of people booing the announcement of Martin Brodeur starting in net, it gets my blood going and gets me excited for the game. I think booing is cheering as a matter of fact.