Are Oilers Canada’s team?: ‘Don’t know if Toronto is cheering for us’

Hey Edmonton Oilers, no pressure.

After they advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2006 thanks to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Sunday, the Oilers will now have the support of the entire country.

Well, most of a country.

“I don’t know if Toronto is cheering for us,” Zach Hyman, a former Maple Leaf, said after the game.

The Oilers have a chance to bring a Cup north of the border for the first time since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens hoisted the trophy 31 years ago.

Oilers captain Connor McDavid doesn’t think being labelled Canada’s team adds any extra pressure but is excited about the chance to bring together people from coast to coast.

“There’s going to be pressure playing in the Stanley Cup Final no matter where your team is from,” McDavid said after Game 6. “Obviously, we’re a Canadian team. We got great Canadian fans, and it feels good to maybe unite the country a little bit and have something to bring people together.

“That’s what sports are all about, bringing people together. And hopefully, we’re doing that for Canadians across the country.”

After making the joke about Toronto, his hometown, Hyman echoed his captain’s thoughts.

“Hockey means so much to Canada and to Canadians,” Hyman said post-game. “It’s been a long time since a Canadian team has won the Cup. So it would mean a lot to Canadians whether they are Oiler fans or not, I’m sure. Some pride over the Americans.”

CityNews took to Canadian streets to find out if hockey fans think Edmonton is Canada’s team.

“Absolutely. When they were playing Vancouver. I believe Vancouver had three Canadian-born players, Edmonton had 21,” said a Winnipegger/

Another Winnipegger adding, “Well yeah, they’re the only other Canadian team left to go. So I hope they win.”

The Oilers success is even crossing regional, and political and language lines with some in Montreal pulling for the team.

“Any Canadian team that makes it to the final represents Canada,” said a Montrealer.

However, not all in Quebec have a high opinion of the west.

“No not really. I’d say maybe the Habs. Oilers, I don’t really link it with Canada, it just isn’t what I link it with,” said another Montrealer.

Oilers fans have waited 18 years to make a Stanley Cup appearance. The last time the team did that was in 2006, those who worked in the old arena when it happened say Sunday night’s win is bringing back memories.

I was watching that game yesterday and they were talking about how loud it got, where you couldn’t even hear yourself think for a bit, and I remember experiencing that during the ’06 cup run. I remember holding the DB metre and you couldn’t hear anything, and if I’m going off memory it was 108 Db,” explained Devin Patterson, in-house video production during ’06 cup run.

CityNews was even able to find some hockey fans in Toronto who disagree with Hyman.

“Yes, I support every Canadian team in the playoffs. The last time was like 2013, I forget, anyway, let’s go Oilers,” said one Torontonian.

Another saying, “I’ll bandwagon on anything, So I’m with the Oilers for sure, they’re a Canadian team, so we have to come as one and fight the Panthers.”

The Florida Panthers will be the American team the Oilers will face in the Cup Final after the Panthers advanced to the championship series for the second straight year by eliminating the New York Rangers on Saturday.

The series will kick off on June 8 in Florida. All games can be seen live on Sportsnet and Sportsnet+.

-With files from Darcy Ropchan, CityNews

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