It’s one of the great contradictions in the NHL as a fan. As a child, I was always told that if the Toronto Maple Leafs either didn’t make the playoffs or had been eliminated, I was supposed to cheer for one of the remaining Canadian teams. But what happens when there is only one Canadian team left and that team is the Montreal Canadiens?
Seriously though, the point is to cheer for the Stanley Cup to come back to Canada. For the past few seasons, it looked like the Vancouver Canucks were the greatest hope for Canada but now they have fallen by the wayside. This year, it looks like the Canadiens will be the only Canadian team to make the playoffs.
The last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup was won by a team north of the border was the Canadiens themselves back in 1993. Other teams have come close since then, like the Calgary Flames in 2004 and the Canucks in 2011, but none have won it all.
This year, the Habs will be hard pressed to do anything significant in the playoffs, but that is not the point. By default, the Habs will have the greatest chances of any Canadian team in the playoffs.
So as Maple Leaf fans, will you be cheering for the Maple Leafs arch-rival? Does the Stanly Cup coming back to Canada supersede any hate towards the team?