May 1, 2014 3:45 pm

Leafs fan Harper backs Montreal Canadiens in Stanley Cup playoffs

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday he's cheering for the Habs during the NHL playoffs while making a funding anouncement in Montreal May 1, 2014.

PMO handout / Deb Ransom

MONTREAL – Even dedicated Leafs fan Stephen Harper is cheering for the rival Montreal Canadiens in the NHL playoffs.

The prime minister told a Montreal audience today it’s not the first time he’s rooted for the Habs.

He says that while growing up in Toronto in the 1970s he always backed the then-dominant Canadiens once the Leafs had been knocked out of Stanley Cup contention.

Harper cracked that was usually in January.

He says as the lone Canadian playoff team the Habs are the country’s only hope for a Stanley Cup.

The prime minister was addressing a crowd that included Canadiens co-owner Andrew Molson and the legendary Guy Lafleur, who starred for the Habs in the 70s.

Harper made the comments after being asked by a reporter about his prediction for the Habs upcoming series against the Boston Bruins, which starts tonight.

He was in Montreal to announce funding for research projects to prevent autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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