As defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning achieved a second straight skate around the ice to win the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row, not everyone in Canada was cheering them on. The Habs lost 1-0 in Game 5 just this week.
A cross-border online survey conducted over the weekend by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found 14 per cent of respondents — including nearly one in four from Manitoba and Saskatchewan — cheering on Tampa Bay.
According to the study, 57 per cent of the survey's 1,518 participants supported the Habs, with regional support strongest in Quebec and weakest in the Prairie provinces.
In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, support for Montreal didn't even crack 50 per cent threshold, perhaps because of the thrashing the Canadiens delivered last month to the Winnipeg Jets.
Where it gets interesting - the survey also explored the political allegiances of respondents. Those who vote for the Bloc Quebecois were the most likely to support the Habs, at 82. Liberal voters followed with 71 per cent. NDP voters, meanwhile, supported the Habs only 55% of the time. The Conservatives were the lowest of all major parties, with only 53% of voters (most of whom are based in the Prairies) supporting the Habs. Green voters were in dead last; only 42 per cent of them supported the Habs over Tampa.
The survey also asked similar questions to U.S. respondents. Oddly enough, only 21 per cent of them were supporting the Bolts, compared with 14 per cent who backed the Canadiens.