The 2021 NHL season was unlike any other, with some arenas eerily silent with no crowd and brand-new divisions like the North which had only Canadian teams. One of those squads from the North broke through all of the hurdles and advanced to Stanley Cup Final before being ousted by the Tampa Bay Lightning who picked up their second straight Cup.
However, prior to the playoffs even beginning, a poll was taken among Canadian NHL fans on which Canadian team was their favorite and the results are below.
Canada’s Oldest Teams Share The Most Fandom
In the above graphic from statista we can see that the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs are deadlocked at 20 percent of support each. Of course, the historic Canadiens have lifted the most Stanley Cups in NHL history with 24. It was Montreal that burst through in the 2021 playoffs to knock off the Maple Leafs in the Sportsbook round and ultimately advance all the way to the Final.
Helping boost the fandom for the Canadiens has been iconic players for many years, going back to Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau to more recent players, Carey Price and Shea Weber – the history is rich and wonderful with this franchise.
Maple Leafs Still Beloved Without Success
Losers since 1967, haven’t won since colored TV, the insults can go on and on degrading the Toronto Maple Leafs having not won the Stanley Cup since 1967 when there were only six teams in the league. The laughing stock has continued with the team not winning a playoff series since the 2003-04 season – there have been two new expansion teams and two lockouts over that duration.
Yet, the fandom is still strong with the Maple Leafs, myself included – it’s the hope that kills you. Currently, this Toronto team has promise, with the franchise’s first-ever Rocket Richard Sportsbook which goes to the player that scored the most goals in the league, Auston Matthews is the reigning champ. Additionally, the team was the best in the North Division for the regular season and is in the conversation to be Stanley Cup favorites, despite underperforming.
Canada’s Least Favorite Team
While Montreal and Toronto top the list of Canadian teams that have the most support, the other team from Ontario, the Ottawa Senators, are bringing up the rear. The Sens have had more success than their provincial rivals in recent memory and are currently building a team that could be a true championship contender in short order but don’t have the love from the fans.
Perhaps it’s the fact that the franchise is the newest of the Canadian teams, although the current Winnipeg Jets are from Atlanta which was an expansion in 1999, the original Jets were around in 1979. Or maybe it’s because the Sens are overshadowed by the Leafs, whatever the case Ottawa receives the lowest support among Canadian NHL fans.