Leafs, Oilers, Jets or Canucks? Here’s which team Canadian hockey fans think can win the Stanley Cup

By Lucas Casaletto

Four Canadian hockey teams will compete for the Stanley Cup this season, and with a lot on the line for each one, fans from across the country are weighing in on who they believe will bring it home this summer.

The Montreal Canadiens were the last Canadian team to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, and according to the Angus Reid Institute, fans seem overly confident that one of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks or Winnipeg Jets will end the drought.

When asked which team they believe represents Canada’s best opportunity, just over 1,000 Canadian hockey fans polled were divided equally between the Maple Leafs (21 per cent) and the Edmonton Oilers (20 per cent).

The third team with the most votes is the Vancouver Canucks (14 per cent), while just five per cent believe the Winnipeg Jets have what it takes to win the Cup.

The third-seeded Maple Leafs are slated to face off against the second-seeded Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs, while the second-seeded Edmonton is likely to draw the third-seeded Los Angeles Kings.

Toronto is coming off a second-round playoff defeat at the hands of these same Panthers last playoffs. McDavid and the Oilers eliminated the Kings in six games last year before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in round two.

The second-seeded Jets will face tough competition in their first-round matchup this season, the third-seeded Colorado Avalanche and Hart Trophy favourite Nathan MacKinnon. Winnipeg greatly improved its regular season point totals, with 106 as of Monday, and will look to knock off the Avalanche after being eliminated by the Golden Knights in round one last year.

The Canucks have been one of the NHL’s biggest surprises after finishing with 83 points and missing the postseason in 2022-23. Vancouver enters Monday with 107 points and will finish first in the Pacific Division. That means J.T. Miller and the crew will likely host the wild-card-clinching Nashville Predators in the first round.

Who will Canadian hockey fans cheer for?

The Maple Leafs have been the top hope for Canada to win a Stanley Cup in past 2019 and 2021 Angus Reid Institute surveys, but Toronto has not advanced to an Eastern Conference final since 2002.

As for which fans in the country will be rooting for, the results point to a different story.

For Ontario East, the Maple Leafs are the top choice for hockey fans, with three-quarters in Ontario (73 per cent) and half in Atlantic Canada (52 per cent) cheering for Matthews and company.

Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks. Photo: Getty Images.

In British Columbia, it’s largely Canucks or bust, with 83 per cent of NHL followers in that province cheering for star defenceman Quinn Hughes and his team.

The same story is true in Manitoba, where the province hopes the Jets can mount a run to the Cup final in June. Two-thirds of Albertans who follow the NHL (64 per cent) will be pulling for McDavid and the Oilers.

In 2016, only 57 per cent of Canadians said they didn’t care which team ended the Stanley Cup drought, while 43 per cent said the team to win was important to them. In 2024, nearly two-thirds (64 per cent polled) say they’ll cheer for any team that calls Canada home.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on April 20.

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