You have got it wrong because your source is 6 years old, and I am not a fan of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens.
I have been following the NHL popularity polls for years, and a few things become obvious.
There is no attempt to determine what the average hockey fan in Canada thinks on average, and there is no attempt to determine what the average Canadian thinks on average.
It isn’t important enough for someone to spend money to get a really accurate result, and even if they did, these things change over time.
The better the team is doing the more popular they become.
Many people thought the Habs had a good chance of winning the Stanley Cup because their goalie Carey Price was having a career year.
Guess who is more popular, the successful Leafs or the less successful ones?
The Habs are loathed more than other Canadian teams because of different reasons.
The Leafs are disliked because they are from Toronto, a city many Canadians love to hate, and the media ignores them.
The fans of the Habs sanctimoniously boast of their past successes, ignoring their recent descent into the bottom half of the NHL, which is why the Habs are loathed.
It’s a few years old, but the results are typical of polls of Canadian hockey fans.
In “The Big Smoke”, we see the Leafs as heroes even though they haven’t won a cup in 53 years. Back in the day, the Habs were the team of French Canada, and the Leafs were the team of English Canada.
If you were a Hab, you probably remained a Hab for your entire career because the Habs have always been the team to value hockey skills.
In other parts of the league they were seen as a bunch of scum who played the body and not the puck.
The Habs won cups with spectacular goals and the Leafs won cups with pucks poked into the nets.
Baun scored a game winning overtime goal on a broken leg, but the Leafs don’t have any loyalty to their players.
Once a Leaf, you’re going to be traded, so your heroes end up somewhere else.
Hockey Night in Canada has a lot to do with the rules that were in place back in the day of broadcast TV signals.
HNIC replaced the colour man with Don Cherry because he had no knowledge of the players.
Most of the hate is tongue and cheek, but there is a lot of hate for the leafs in other parts of the country.
Toronto is in charge of the Canadian media and favors the Leafs.
The Leafs are the National game every Saturday night and those who watch Canadian sports news get shoved down their throats constantly.
If Toronto plays another Canadian team, you get the Toronto broadcasters, not the opponents.
The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967.
They had great players, but the team pales in comparison to the Montreal Canadiens, the most successful franchise in NHL history and one of the best in professional sports.
Their best season was in 1976, when they finished with a record of 60-8-12, setting a league record which still stands today.
Every player on the roster was drafted or developed by the team, a record.
People who didn’t follow hockey became fans after they won the Stanley Cup.
When I was a kid, Montreal was loved because of legends like guy lafleur, Serge savard, Ken Dryden, Yvan cournoyer,Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey, and Toronto had Darryl sittler and lanny McDonald.
My theory is that the leafs jersey is ugly, dirty, and white.
It’s not a marketing friendly look and it’s the key to selling any sports team…