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Old 12-03-2003, 11:55 PM   #1
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"The young Canucks...are like watching a rock show..."

The Canucks have overtaken the Leafs for viewership in English speaking Canada...

Canucks winning over fans with offensive play

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/artic...03_192812_3856


Sorry, Gary, you can't hold down the Canucks any longer. (CP)

Tired of debating which NHL team is Canada's team? This won't help: Both the Canucks and Leafs sit at 33 points. Canucks lead the NHL in goal scoring (81) but the Leafs beat them twice just last week. You make the call.

BURNABY, B.C. (CP) -- If you use TV numbers as a measure, the title of Canada's team has moved from the centre of the universe to the West Coast.


The Vancouver Canucks are drawing more viewers to their NHL games on English TV than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Goodbye Yonge and Bloor, Canada's new hockey crossroads is now Robson and Thurlow.

"That's pretty big," veteran forward Trevor Linden said Wednesday after the Canucks skated at their Burnaby, B.C., practice rink.

"When you talk about TV numbers, when you outdraw the Leafs, that's pretty substantial."

The Canucks are averaging 330,000 viewers for their games on Rogers Sportsnet, a 40-per-cent increase from last year.

The Leafs average 326,000 viewers on Sportsnet, a drop of 27 per cent.

The Montreal Canadiens have the best TV numbers, with an average 375,000 viewers watching their games, but those numbers are down 12 per cent from last year.

So, can the Canucks lay claim to the title of Canada's team?

"I don't know about that but I think we're getting there," said Canucks captain Markus Naslund.

"The media focus on the Leafs and Habs is probably bigger. I think we are appreciated a lot in Canada."

Todd Bertuzzi, the hulking right-winger who grew up in Sudbury, Ont., said you don't have to be a genius to figure out why people would rather watch Vancouver than Toronto.

The young Canucks, with their wide-open offensive style, are like watching a rock show. The aging Leafs, with their plodding defensive game, are a night at the symphony.

"Ask around hockey fans, go to bars and pubs and ask who is the most entertaining team," said Bertuzzi.

"You'll get your answer. They love the fact our coach rarely puts reins on us and lets us be creative. That's exciting to watch and that's why it's fun to play in a system like that."

Bertuzzi balked at the suggestion the Canucks can be called Canada's team.

Montreal, who in 1993 became the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup, own that honour, he said.

"Until somebody else takes the Stanley Cup, then it's Montreal," said Bertuzzi.

"You have to fight for your respect and respect is what you win. Until you win something you can't claim anything."

Heading into Tuesday night the Canucks were first in the Western Conference with a 14-6-3-2 record for 33 points and led the NHL in goal scoring with 81.

The Leafs, who are riding a six-game win streak, were second in the East with a 13-6-5-2 record for 33 points and have scored 68 goals.

Toronto beat Vancouver in both games the teams played this year.

While the Canucks have beat the Leafs in mid-week TV ratings, Toronto remains king in merchandise sales. The Leafs are first overall in the entire NHL in merchandise sales in North America although both Montreal and Vancouver rate in the top six.

In other television markets, the Edmonton Oilers are averaging 88,000 viewers a game on Sportsnet, a decrease of 16 per cent.

The Calgary Flames are enjoying a 15-per-cent increase to 100,000 fans a game while the Ottawa Senators have dropped 15 per cent to 58,000.

The CBC doesn't keep track of which teams are the biggest draw.

The Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader averages about 1.3 million viewers for its early game and 829,000 for the night cap.

The recent matchup between the Canucks and Leafs attracted 1.4 million viewers. That match came on the heels of the outdoor game in Edmonton which drew an audience of 2.74 million.

Linden said playing on the West Coast will always limit the Canucks national appeal.

"When our home games are on (TV), half of Canada is sleeping," he chuckled.

Besides their style of play, the Canucks have also raised their provincial image by holding training camps in places like Vernon and Kamloops.

"The little towns we go to are so supportive," said Linden.

"It really includes them. I think this is B.C.'s team."
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:01 AM   #2
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Here's the thing. Nobody in canada gives two shits about the leafs. They are a media built craze. I can't stand them. the Canucks are cool but does anyone out east really care? I would have to think that Montreal would still be Canada's team. They like the Leafs outdraw teams like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary,when playing in those cities. I don't know. If I have to choose between the Leafs and the Canucks it's the Canucks any day of the week. The Leafs are the lamest pro sports franchise going. they give off this New York Yankee arrogance but without half the class and without the championships. Oh man. Don't get me started on the Leafs. LOL.
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:08 AM   #3
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I agree with you and Todd Bertuzzi. The Canadiens are Canada's team, because they're the last Canadian team to win the Cup. The Leafs haven't won since 1967, and haven't even been to the finals since then. Even the Canucks have been to the finals twice since then. My vote goes to Montreal. As for who the best team in Canada is, that's a different question, and right now it is Vancouver or Ottawa (even though Ottawa has had a rough start).
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:12 AM   #4
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Griffdawg REALLY needs a hobby.

Put em Under Pressure. AKA the Vancouver Canucks forum.
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Old 12-04-2003, 04:54 PM   #5
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hee hee hee

See, I figured people on this site would relate to the whole "rock show" concept.

I particularily liked the line, "The aging Leafs, with their plodding defensive game, are a night at the symphony."
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:44 PM   #6
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naw, im pretty sure nobody cares
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:49 PM   #7
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Yeah, hi. Live in Montreal. The Canadiens suck. They are terrible. If they are Canada's team, then take me out of Canada.

The Canucks are the hottest thing on ice as far as I am concerned. I'd go to see them play over a rock show anyday and that's saying alot.
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:58 PM   #8
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why does there even have to be a "canada's team"?

why can there just be vancouvers team, montreals team, ottawas team, etc...

kind of seems weird to me that a whole country would have one team when there are many teams in that country.
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Old 12-04-2003, 06:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chizip
why does there even have to be a "canada's team"?

why can there just be vancouvers team, montreals team, ottawas team, etc...

kind of seems weird to me that a whole country would have one team when there are many teams in that country.
That's just it, though, Chiz - there aren't many teams in the country. For the geographical size of the country, we barely have any teams. Why you ask?... several reasons.... the most recent being the fact the US has stolen two of our franchises (Quebec and Winnipeg)... but it's also 'cause of the much larger markets down in the US (not necessarily in terms of fans, but in terms of business). Of course this is a simplification, and it goes further. The end result though is a league which started out very small overall (6 teams) which still remains very small in Canada. The majority of Canada has lived in the Ontario and Quebec regions since the country's birth, and thus the majority cheer for those teams. Not until expansion did we have the Oilers, Canucks, Jets and so on. The historical glue is still very sticky, and ex-Torontonians and Montrealers (or the fans of those teams) pride themselves with tradition. This is why - as well as the cultural significance of the sport (hockey vs. baseball, for ex) - a title such as "Canada's Team" would be much more prevalent than in the US, where there isn't such a historical and present day focal point in terms of the NHL.

My two cents, anyway.
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Old 12-04-2003, 07:43 PM   #10
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Maybe Leafs viewership is down because of heinous acts like these:



I miss the old days, when hockey was something the whole family could watch together, without having to have awkward conversations with the children.

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Old 12-04-2003, 10:07 PM   #11
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Avsgirl41....... you're funny

Shoot me now but I agree with Chizip. Why must there be a Canada's team? Get over the past I say already Canada. I live in a friggin province where "je me souviens" is the license plate logo. GET OVER IT ALREADY! Anyway, if Canada had to have a team, my vote goes for the Canucks.
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Old 12-05-2003, 02:29 AM   #12
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what does je me souviens mean?
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Old 12-05-2003, 02:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41
Maybe Leafs viewership is down because of heinous acts like these:



I miss the old days, when hockey was something the whole family could watch together, without having to have awkward conversations with the children.

Yes, me too. Leave it to the dirty Leafs to destroy a once wholesome affair with their sadistic and twisted methods of self gratification.
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Old 12-05-2003, 02:56 AM   #14
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I guess scoring isn't down in the NHL, after all!
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:07 AM   #15
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The Canucks need to start wearing chastity belts, if they want to keep scoring down when playing the Leafs. Sad, but true. The Leafs are blue for a reason...
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