In 24 hours, the puck will drop and the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks will battle for the right to hoist the Stanley Cup. In Vancouver, and the province of British Columbia, the excitement has reached record levels that rival that of the 2010 Olympics.
According to a recent Ispos Reid poll conducted online with residents in British Columbia, 8 in 10 British Columbians said they are excited (53% very excited, 29% somewhat excited) about the performance of the Vancouver Canucks in this year’s NHL playoffs.
In comparison to the excitement that surrounded the 2010 Winter Olympics, the poll suggests that British Columbia is at the moment a more exciting place to be during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. According to the poll, on the eve of the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Winter Games, just over half (53%) of BC residents told Ipsos that they were excited for the Olympics to begin. Although the level of excitement escalated as the Games began, the fact remains that the pre-Cup excitement for the Vancouver Canucks is already matching the heights of Olympic excitement reached during the final days of the 2010 Winter Games.
Steve Mossop, President with Ipsos Reid in Western Canada said about the poll results, “With Stanley Cup excitement outweighing that for the 2010 Olympics, it is clear that Canucks-mania has reached a fevered pitch across British Columbia…With the team heading into a Stanley Cup showdown against the Boston Bruins, the Vancouver Canucks have the overwhelming support of fans all across the province. There is every indication that once the first puck drops, the celebratory atmosphere and level of excitement across the province will only increase.”
There are many reasons why the Canucks are in position to win the Stanley Cup, as the poll has confirmed, one of them is that Canucks fans are convinced that 2011 is their year. According to the poll, three quarters of the province believe that the Vancouver Canucks will bring the trophy home – 73% believe that the Canucks will defeat the Boston Bruins.
“Montreal and Calgary both hosted the Olympics and then both cities’ NHL teams went on to hoist the Stanley Cup the following year,” adds Mossop. “It looks like Vancouver Canucks fans want to make that a bona fide Canadian tradition.”
How can the Canuck fever be explained? Well, winning changes everything.
Canucks fans have always been guilty of jumping on and off the fan bandwagon, depending on the fortunes and performance of the team. Prior to the start of the playoffs, just over half of respondents said they followed the Canucks closely (26% very closely, 28% somewhat closely). With the Canucks now in the Stanley Cup Final, that has spiked to over three quarters of the population, with nearly half of respondents (49%) following the team’s performance very closely and just over a quarter (27%) following them somewhat closely.
The 2010 Olympics was an unbelievable party in Vancouver, with the excitement already surrounding the Stanley Cup, if the Canucks start winning games, they might have to shut the city down.