With all those sports betting ads shown during these Stanley Cup playoffs, there was little talk from oddsmakers as to waging against Canadian teams making it past the second round.

That was, however, a safe bet once again as both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers came up snake eyes in round two.

The Leafs were eliminated last Friday night in their fifth and final game against the Florida Panthers, bowing out to an overnight, estimated 1,789,000 CBC viewers and another 1,995,000 Sportsnet National viewers for a combined total of 3,784,000 viewers. Unlike in the first round vs. Tampa, none of the Leafs-Panthers games crossed the four million viewer threshold. It didn’t help that all that momentum from finally winning a best-of-seven was killed when Leafs went 0-3 to start Round Two.

The Oilers that same Friday night drew 785,000 in the late game on CBC and another 1,255,000 on Sportsnet National for a combined total against the Las Vegas Knights of 2,040,000.

Two nights later, in Sunday’s Sixth and deciding game, The Oilers ran out of gas before 786,000 CBC viewers and 1,177,000 Sportsnet National viewers for a combined estimated overnight total of 1,963,000 viewers. The late Sunday night start (the game didn’t begin until 10:09 p.m. Toronto time) did not help boost Edmonton’s audience average. Blame ESPN and the NHL for catering to the US market’s ideal west coast start time.

This sucks once again for Rogers Sports & Entertainment, the NHL Canadian network rights holder who got one lousy look at the Leafs in a second round in nine years of a 12-year, $5.2 billion deal. Next year the cost goes up one more time.


The four American teams still in the hunt for Lord Stanley’s mug are not even within range of what the Canadian teams draw. On Saturday, for example, Dallas vs Seattle pulled an estimated 773,000 on Sportsnet National. A Seattle-Las Vegas Western Final may work for ESPN, but it is not likely to set any ratings records for Sportsnet.

What else were Canadians watching Sunday night? One homegrown series not getting many headlines is already a solid draw: Sullivan’s Crossing drew an overnight, estimated 725,000 Sunday for its first season finale. Look for a renewal for next year any day now. The small-town romance recently earned a summer berth on The CW stateside. That topped the totals of all the big imported dramas or reality shows on either Global or CTV Sunday night, including American Idol (440,000) on CTV2.

One other score: Sunday afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays batted an estimated 960,000 for sweeping the Atlanta Braves. At least there’s still one Canadian team in baseball.

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