MONTREAL -- This isn't the first time the Habs have found themselves as the last Canadian NHL team standing in the spring and a recent poll suggests the country likes it that way.
According to a Canadian Press Harris/Decima poll, 40 percent of Canadians consider the Habs to be Canada's Team. The Toronto Maple Leafs sit second at 24 percent with the Flames, Oilers, Canucks and Senators checking in at only five percent.
There's no denying the Canadiens' playoff run is helping their countrywide appeal. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed feel the Canadiens have earned the right to be thought of as Canada's team. The Habs' current popularity dwarfs that of last year's Senators, who were anointed Canada's team by only 24 percent of fans despite Ottawa's run all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Habs' youth movement hasn't gone unnoticed either. Fifty-one percent of Canadians polled believe that Montreal will win more games than the Leafs over the next decade, while only 21 percent thought the contrary. Belief in the Canadiens' promising future is even more obvious among avid hockey fans, with 71 percent preferring the Habs' 10-year outlook over that of the Leafs of tomorrow.
As the Canadiens look to battle back and eliminate the Flyers, they can take comfort in not being alone in this fight. An entire country is behind them.