Fun with numbers
Or... why the Sens won't be 'Canada's Team'
Canada (population): 32.9 million
Ontario (population): 12.7 million
Greater Ottawa (population): 1.15 million
Percentage of Ontario that cheers for the Leafs: 90-95%
Percentage of Leafs fans that cheer for Sens: 0.1%
Percentage of country left over: 60-65%
And that doesn't even include all those nutty Leafs fans sprinkled throughout the land.
I've lived here in Toronto the past four years, and after getting to know the local hockey fan through the good (2004 playoffs), bad (the lockout) and ugly (everything else) of that time period, I will say this: They know what they like (Dougie!) and they know what they hate.
The Ottawa Senators.
The fact of the matter is that, through the Flames' and Oilers' ultimately unsuccessful runs in 2004 and 2006, many of Leafs Nation's hardcore fans had no problem getting on the 'Canada's Team' bandwagon (it was, after all, nice to cheer for a winner) and I had little trouble finding accompaniment to the local watering holes to watch the exploits of Iginla/Smyth and friends.
This year, that hardcore element has entered the witness protection program, hunkering down with their various prayer books and voodoo dolls and hoping like hell that what looks like might happen doesn't come to fruition.
The ratings certainly bear that out.
So, no, there will be no parades down Yonge Street should Ottawa win the Stanley Cup, not even by the small Senators-backing contingent in this city.
It'd be suicide.