With no Canadian NHL teams in this year’s playoffs, more than half of the country’s hockey fans who normally watch the postseason will be tuning in less this year, according to a new online poll.
For the first time in more than 40 years, all seven of Canada’s NHL hockey teams have been shut out of playoff action, and according to results of a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute, 54 per cent of Canadians who say they normally watch the postseason will be watching less this year.
According to the poll, 35 per cent of respondents who say they usually watch the playoffs will be watching less and 19 per cent won’t be watching at all.
Only 30 per cent said they will watch about as much hockey action as they normally would.
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Last month, with the prospect of having no representation of Canada in the playoffs, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expressed hope that fans will still tune into the games.
“As long as the hockey is entertaining and exciting and competitive we’re hoping and expecting that fans will tune in and watch great hockey,” the commissioner said.
Sorry Bettman, but even those who identified themselves as a “diehard” hockey fan (131 respondents), almost half said they will be watching less this year and 12 per cent said they won’t watch at all. Only eight per cent of the group said they will be watching more playoff action.
So, for those who are watching, what team will they cheer for?
The poll results suggest 46 per cent will be supporting the defending champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins tied with 26 per cent.
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Which team will break Canada’s Stanley Cup drought?
Well, according to the poll respondents, 26 per cent said it will be the Montreal Canadiens, the same Canadian team to last win the cup back in 1993. Eleven per cent said it will be the Toronto Maple Leafs, followed by the Edmonton Oilers at 10 per cent. Interestingly enough, three per cent said no Canadian team will ever win the cup again.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from March 28 – 31, 2016, among a representative randomized sample of 1,522 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.