Sports

Home opener, Canadiens return to normal, fans as well

Brossard, Que. — On Saturday, for the first time in 585 days, the Montreal Canadiens will play a game at the Bell Center in front of a packed crowd. This event will help restore the level of normality of all attendees. Since COVID-19 landed in North America and obtained permanent residence, it has not experienced much normality.

Canadians coach Dominique Dusham said it was “great” after running the team on a morning skate prior to Saturday night’s match against the New York Rangers. “I don’t think it’s great for me. It’s for everyone. I think it’s a sign of having experienced a difficult thing for everyone. It’s great for the team just because the house is full. It’s great for players to feel that energy, but overall, it’s a kind of light at the end of the tunnel we saw, and I think we’ve finally reached it. And now life is a little more normal. “

Of course, it will not be the same as before.

Participants are required to prove that they have been double vaccinated against the deadly virus and will always be informed to all aisle ushers to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

But that feeling is still the same as it used to be. And for many, participating in a game is a tradition and a daily routine, so the experience of participating in a game as well as participating in it provides incredible comfort. ..

When I was young, mine was always the same. No matter who I went with, I gathered in downtown at 5:15 pm, took a walk to Drammond and Saint-Catherine, had a light meal at Mr. Stair, and enjoyed the unique sights and sounds of Montreal on the day of the match. Hundreds of people there Blue, Blanc, Rouge A one-armed beggar placed in Stanley, a scalper waiting to cross Rene Lévesque, barking at the amount of tickets and greeting them on the other side (whether he’s October or January) (Always shirtless) fell, Bell Center, and the smoky cigarette smoke of an increasingly enthusiastic and noisy crowd — and just in time to take in warm-ups from seats closer to the glass than us. Will arrive at.

I experienced it twice a season and three or four times a good year and cherished it.

After March 10, 2020, I didn’t understand how much until I sat down at the empty Bell Center and watched the Canadiens warm up before every regular season match in the Canadiens. bottom.

What an incredibly strange experience!

But driving down the desolate streets on the way there was just as strange. I was worried about walking through bars without patrons and restaurants without servers, and it was eerily quiet and smokeless on Canadian Street.

It seemed vaguely familiar when people clogged a small road in front of Bell Center during the playoffs, filling up as many as 3,500 seats (maybe a few more people slipped through the gate), It wasn’t even close to normal. inside.

But Saturday will feel like it used to be at Bell Center and Montreal.

“It will feel alive again,” said the city’s Jonathan Drewin. “After the curfew and before the game, it was mostly a ghost town. Not many people had jerseys on the street. Usually you drive to the game, feel the energy, and the game comes. You can feel it. “

Drouin has experienced it many times as a player since joining the Canadiens in 2017.

So is Ben Chiarot, who signed to the team in 2019 and said this on Friday:

“Bell Center is a great place to play in the league. We’re excited because it’s the best place to have people on the stands.”

There are some Canadians members who just dreamed of experiencing Game Day in Montreal as they did on Saturday.

“Even a man like up-and-coming star Cole (Corfield) is the first in front of all Bell Centers, all of us fans,” said goalkeeper Jake Allen. it’s the first time. “A lot of newcomers and everyone else wore red jerseys for the first time and went out to the home opener. It’s a little different so I’m having fun.”

When Tyler Toffoli signed a four-year, $ 17 million deal just months after the pandemic, it would be what he thought it would be.

“I think it’s one of the things I can do in the NHL and play in front of the Canadiens spectators. I was clearly looking forward to signing here,” he said on Saturday. “Obviously that didn’t happen last year, and I’m really excited about this opportunity, and I think everyone in our locker room too.”

No one will be as excited as a fan.

As of Saturday morning, 24 tickets are still available at the ticket office, and even if there are dozens more tickets posted on the aftersite, it is expected to exceed 21,000 seats.

It should create a special atmosphere and the long-awaited normality.

Home opener, Canadiens return to normal, fans as well

Source link Home opener, Canadiens return to normal, fans as well

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