The lore of sports, to the true believer, is as compelling as the game itself: hockey fans in particular love a story, and fortunately for fans of the Montreal Canadiens (or the “Habs”) the team is not short on attention-getting narratives…
To wit, the Canadiens are often referred to as the most storied franchise in the National Hockey League – they’ve won 24 Stanley Cup championships, more than any other team – and they’re not disappointing anyone in that department again this year. The much-anticipated appearance of newly acquired pugilist George Parros ended with a sickening thud (that of Parros’ head on the ice) midway through the very first game of the season; Habs fans finally got what they long-ago wanted in the case of former star Danny Brière (in what’s starting to look like another case of “be careful what you wish for”); and a formerly mediocre-at-best Dane (a Dane!) by the name of Lars Eller is proving on a now nightly basis that every dog does, indeed, have his day. So, as usual, it’s anything but boring.
But Montrealers expect nothing less from a team that is so deeply ingrained in the city’s psyche that the fans themselves are as much a part of the action as the team itself. And because of that, tickets can be hard to come by. While the majority of regular season seats are sold out before the very first faceoff, the Canadiens organization holds a number of additional tickets in reserve. On the 15th of each month they release tickets for games the following month (i.e., on Oct. 15 fans will be able to buy tickets for games in November). Failing that, season ticket holders also put unused tickets up for purchase on the team-sanctioned resale site The Vault.
Still can’t get a ticket? Well, as mentioned, the fans are as fun as the games themselves, and the best place to catch them would be in their natural environment in one of Montreal’s many hockey crazy hangouts. Chief among these would be places like Taverne Normand (where every game feels like a playoff game), Champs Bar and Restaurant (a Montreal institution located in the heart of The Main), McKibbon’s Irish Pub (great food to match the great atmosphere), Chez Serge (where the club décor and crowd satisfy the greatest entertainment cravings) and the tried-and-true La Cage aux Sports inside the actual Bell Centre (70 TVs, 4 giant screens, ’nuff said…). All you need bring is the following phrase: “Go Habs Go!”
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