Originally Posted by Calgarian
Same with Edmonton and Ottawa. Vancouver was Canada's team for a while, but I think a lot of the Canucks antics turned a lot of people off them. No one will doubt the skill of the team, but when they start diving and pulling hair, it's difficult for a non Canucks fan to stick by them.
Bingo. There will always be the die hard fans, and the die hard haters (I really loathe that word, but can't think of a better one), but most of the country isn't full of mindless sheep who only pray to their One True God. Plenty of casual/fairweather fans exist, but more importantly, this country is full of HOCKEY fans. Not fans of just a particular logo, but fans of the sport itself.
When playoffs come, and "your team" gets eliminated... you must not like the sport very much to suddenly lose all interest entirely. Consequently, people latch onto other teams, for a myriad of reasons. And in Canada, national pride is stronger than we let on - so many people cheer for another Canadian team. Enough so that it becomes a national news story, and the phrase "Canada's team" gets bandied about.
I fail to see why this isn't obvious to so many people. It happens every freaking year when a Canadian team makes it deep in the playoffs, and it gets stronger the further away we get from 1993. Unfortunately the Canucks had to go and cock it up by being complete douchebags on the ice - I've never see the country turn so radically before. By the end of round 4, it felt like most of Canada was cheering for the American team, which certainly was not the case in 2004, 6, or 7.