Plenty of stuff has been happening around the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge of late. Just this week they fired their head coach Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien, who was just recently fired by the Boston Bruins, for his second go around with the team. This comes at a time where the team, though still in first place in the Atlantic Division, was going through a tough patch. Suddenly this practice becomes something of great interest in the city.
It is only in the hockey mad market in which that even if the team is mired in a 30 game or so slump that 17,000 fans will turn up for a practice. I hope the players wearing Habs’ uniforms took a moment to take that in. They should appreciate that they play in a city in which they are heroes.
Early Sunday morning enthusiastic Montreal Canadiens’ fans will begin lining up around the Bell Centre for this chance (totally paid for by Provigo) to see their favourite hockey players up close and personal. In a setting that few of us get to see with the players being relaxed and with the pressure off a there is no opponent. The pressure is off because 60 percent of the crowd will be made up of young people or fans who are very forgiving. They don’t turn away from Alex Galchenyuk because he makes a mistake late in a game that leads to a turnover that leads to a late game winning goal. These fans come to events like this with their eyes all aglow and huge smiles on their faces. This must have been a sight for sorry eyes for the players on the Canadiens as they are going through a tough time.
Some new stuff is happening this year. Outside of the Bell Centre before the practice begins there will be all kinds of activities (mostly aimed at the young ones) like boot hockey, grilled cheese and hot chocolate, face painting, music, and, of course, Youppi.
-Date: February 19, 2017
-Venue: Bell Centre
-Start Time: 10:00 a.m.