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In the United States, which houses the league's other 23 teams, it doesn't matter which club makes it to the final -- if one is based in the U.S., and the other in Canada, you can bet there will be chants of "USA! USA!" from the fans. Americans have more of an our-country-against-theirs mentality.

In Canada, fans tend to remain loyal to their favourite teams, but when you haven't had a Canadian-based Stanley Cup champ for so long, maybe it's time to temporarily cheer for the one team that can put Canada back on the NHL map.

-Mike Brophy of CBC where you can read about the Montreal Canadiens.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

redxblack's avatar

It’s always weird for me when the crowd chants USA at a bunch of Canadian and European players. It’s not the 1950s anymore where players go to the teams that are their regional/local clubs.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/07/14 at 11:52 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

if one is based in the U.S., and the other in Canada, you can bet there will be chants of “USA! USA!” from the fans. Americans have more of an our-country-against-theirs mentality.

LOL…he has got to be kidding

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/07/14 at 11:53 AM ET

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My perception was that the Canadians always root for what ever Canadian team was left.  I have spent plenty of time in Canada, and have Canadian relatives.  Even though they are Maple Leafs fans they are all rooting for the Canadians.

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 05/07/14 at 12:00 PM ET

awould's avatar

Americans have more of an our-country-against-theirs mentality.

Literally the only reason I cheer for USA vs Canada is because the Canadians are so obnoxious about how much they actually do care. How many articles were there bemoaning how bad it is that Montreal is the only Canadian team to make the playoffs, with calls for the nation to get behind their only team left. It’s dumb.

When the Red Wings are out, I just cheer for the team I hate less, if I cheer at all. For instance, once Chicago, Anaheim, Pittsburgh and Boston are out…. I basically stop caring. I’m happily cheering for Montreal to beat Boston. And I’ll cheer for them to beat Pittsburgh. If they face off against Anaheim, I’ll happily cheer them on then too. If they face LA, I’ll probably cheer for LA, but only after a heavy dose of hand-wringing and jingoism from the Canadian media. Which I’m sure will come. Somehow, I don’t see the American media making it a USA vs Canada series, other than maybe just a transparent marketing ploy.

Posted by awould on 05/07/14 at 12:01 PM ET

SYF's avatar

In the United States, which houses the league’s other 23 teams, it doesn’t matter which club makes it to the final—if one is based in the U.S., and the other in Canada, you can bet there will be chants of “USA! USA!” from the fans. Americans have more of an our-country-against-theirs mentality.

Well, shit, thanks a lot, General Lizations.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/07/14 at 12:04 PM ET

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If memory serves, aren’t the Canadians the one who lustily boo the U.S. anthem?

Posted by pcoffey on 05/07/14 at 12:05 PM ET

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I don’t think I know of a single fan of a Canadian team who roots for any other Canadian team when theirs is eliminated.  I know people who are fans of the Canadiens, the Oilers, the Maple Leafs, the Flames and the Sens and I don’t think one of them would ever cheer for a Canadian team just because their team was eliminated.  Living in Toronto, I’m not sure I can think of anyone who wasn’t already a Canadiens fan who is rooting for them.

I know more people who are currently cheering for the Kings (or the Cawks) than are cheering for the Canadiens.

Posted by Garth on 05/07/14 at 12:06 PM ET

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Well, shit, thanks a lot, General Lizations.

Maybe for his next article he’ll have the time to individually interview every single American hockey fan, but until then…

Posted by Garth on 05/07/14 at 12:07 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I don’t understand this perception from the Canadian press.  I’m curious to see if any of the Canadian hockey fans here feel this way?  Do you actually hear “USA USA!” Chants?  Does that happen anywhere specifically?  I could, admittedly, see it happening in Boston but, culturally, Boston is developmentally challenged for no reason that makes sense to anyone who isn’t from there.  Anywhere else, though, and I would be surprised. 

I’m curious if it’s just jingoistic nonsense or if it’s a sense of insecuity/losing their stranglehold on the game they consider theirs?  If the latter… One might think the consecutive good medals would alleviate concerns, but on the other hand only 3 of 7 remaining captains (Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, Koivu, Chara, Brown, Gionta) are from Canada (it seems NYR haven’t appointed a new captain since Dubinsky trade?). 

I don’t know what conclusion can be drawn from this but it interested me so I spent a couple minutes to talking up where the remaining team’s players are from.  The Canadiens are 13/13 Canadian/international (using Wikipedia rosters which isn’t the best source but I’m somewhat limited on iPhone).  Blackhawks 10:18, Ducks 12:13, Penguins 13/15, Rangers 13:13, bruins 15:11, kings 16:10 and wild 12/15.  Four of the right teams have at least 50% Canadian players.  You’re doing great, Canada, relax!

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/07/14 at 12:32 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Americans have more of an our-country-against-theirs mentality.

Americans don’t write articles about how American teams have won so many Cups in a row.  The CAN vs USA mentality exists because Canada (or Canadian media at least) continues to perpetuate it.  To try to pin it on the U.S. is wrong-headed and stupid, and shows a complete lack of self-awareness by the writer.

Again…. THIS ARTICLE DOESN’T GET WRITTEN IN THE UNITED STATES.  This genre of article exists only in Canada.  There’s your g***amn hint, Brophy.


We’ve maybe been over and over this before, but… for all the bluster of rivalries north of the border, the rivalries in the U.S. are far more deep-seeded than in Canada simply because of the wealth of available options to hate.  Canadian rivalries exist because of the NHL mostly.  Rivalries in the U.S. mostly exist for reasons other than hockey.

MTL and TOR don’t like each other?  Uh-huh.  Michigan and Ohio once tried to go to actual war with one another over access to Toledo (what you thought UM-OSU was a recent thing?).  Kansas and Missouri basically DID go to war with one another for a while, torching schools and villages in each other’s territory and involving armed forces.

Shoot, people in the same STATE don’t get along in a “goes well beyond sports” kinda’ way.

With that in mind, it’s kinda’ silly to me that Canadian pundits continue to think they are the end-all-be-all of rivals for people in the U.S.  No, you’re not.  You’re somewhere a ways down the list, both in and out of sports.  The U.S. does not unite to go against Canada.  Than only happens the other way around, I’m afraid…

Posted by Primis on 05/07/14 at 12:34 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

For me, it’s all about which two teams are playing in a particular series. Once Detroit is out, I root for the lesser of my personal two evils. For instance, I absolutely hate the Predators and Rangers, but if they played each other, I’d root for the Rangers. But if Vancouver was playing the Rangers, I’d root for Vancouver. I think it’s more of a series by series thing for most fans once their team gets knocked out. Hell, I have cheered for and against the same team in the same playoff year before. It’s all in who is playing.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/07/14 at 12:41 PM ET

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Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/07/14 at 01:32 PM ET

An article like this (from one of the two broadcasters of the playoffs in Canada and, I’m sure by complete coincidence, the one that gets dibs on Canadian teams) is meant to do nothing more than try to convince the Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Otawa fans to keep watching even though they all hate the Canadiens.

“Wait, you can still watch hockey even though your team is gone, you can cheer for your country!  Please continue to watch Hockey Night in Canada, it’s our only revenue stream.”

Posted by Garth on 05/07/14 at 01:00 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Thank you for that translation.  Makes more sense now.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/07/14 at 01:08 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Americans have more of an our-country-against-theirs mentality.

When read with an eye toward pandering like Garth suggests, this makes a lot more sense. 

Objectively, it’s a dumbshit statement.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/07/14 at 01:30 PM ET

awould's avatar

is meant to do nothing more than try to convince the Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Otawa fans to keep watching even though they all hate the Canadiens.

That’s true. It’s a media concoction, and I have no direct knowledge of any Leafs fans cheering for Montreal simply because they’re a Canadian-based franchise. But the media up there sure acts like they all should for no other reason than CANADA! Which you just don’t see in the USA. Maybe, partially even, because hockey is not a national sport here and nobody outside of fans care…. and real fans don’t ever really cheer on another team. Which makes me think it’s more to keep the casual fans engaged….. Look, your cousin in Montreal, his favorite team is still in it!

Posted by awould on 05/07/14 at 01:36 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Posted by Garth on 05/07/14 at 02:00 PM ET

100%. In MTL we do have a TO fan base. They are not supporting the HABS but Boston! The way they see it is “if we don’t make it, you don’t either” and during the Boston VS Wings series, they were cheering for us. So yes, the media is trying to keep the rest of Canada interested in watching CBC “the great Canadian game”

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/07/14 at 01:41 PM ET

Good point. Although…I have to say that there is a part of me that wants the Bruins to win….I hate them, but looking at how the Habs are playing, I keep thinking that we could have done the same. We have a lot of young players and the HABS have them also….of course…Carey Price is much better than Howard smile And I want the birds to get crushed….looks like it won’t happen soon

Posted by gowings from MTL on 05/07/14 at 01:54 PM ET

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The way they see it is “if we don’t make it, you don’t either”

That’s a good point.  If the Leafs don’t win then I would say the majority of their fans would rather that just about anyone but Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver win.

Posted by Garth on 05/07/14 at 02:28 PM ET

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I think Garth pretty much nails it.  As a Canadian and a Canadiens fan I can promise you that I do not automatically cheer for whatever Canadian team is left playing, that’s stupid.
Toronto playing Detroit?  Go Wings!

Posted by dwgs on 05/07/14 at 02:32 PM ET

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Garth’s comments are accurate, especially when you consider that the broadcaster is a government owned TV network about to lose its most lucrative commercial property at the end of this season.  The CBC moaned to no end when Toronto didn’t make the playoffs after teasing all year.

For those of us that are not Canadiens fans, there are few comments more smug than their fans stating, “come back and see me after you’ve won 24 cups”.  The only people changing their allegiance to the Habs might be Canuck fans for obvious reasons in this round ... but even then it’s “pick your poison”

Posted by Matty55 on 05/07/14 at 04:34 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

USA v Canada? Olympics come back around again so soon?

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 05/07/14 at 07:51 PM ET

blammo's avatar

Why does this stoopid article get so many comments? It’s why Paul has to keep posting them, because they always get a rise out of the rabble.

Is anyone watching the games? This is one of the most exciting playoffs in years, and this is what gets attention?

Meh.

Posted by blammo from Vancouver, BC on 05/07/14 at 10:48 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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