Good vibrations, for a change, at the Bell Centre Sunday

Posted: January 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Carey Price being interviewed at the Canadiens fan practice. Photo by Brendan Kelly.

It was the Canadiens fan practice and some 15,000 folks schlepped down to the Bell Centre on a chilly Sunday morning to celebrate Nos Habs. You gotta hand it to the Canadiens fans. Here’s the team in the midst of maybe it’s suckiest season in 50 years and 15,000 brave souls are still willing to take some valuable time out of their weekend to cheer on Les Boys. You know what? Habs fans are a classy bunch, in spite of what many people have said over the years.

P.K. Subban, Yannick Webber

Above is my pic of P.K. Subban and Yannick Weber after Subban won the hardest-slapshot contest. What was so cool is that Weber won the contest and when he was being interviewed, he said that he thought P.K. likely had the hardest shot on the team. Subban had not been part of the contest but with the crowd going nuts, chanting ‘P.K. P.K.’, they brought him to shoot and he ended up topping Weber’s score. It was just an unbelievably classy move by Weber.

Carey Price in the corridor leading to the ice.

Carey Price did not take to the ice, much to the disappointment of everyone there. My photo shows him waiting in the corridor, just a couple of feet from our seats, prior to being interviewed. He looked remarkably pensive as he watched the action on the ice. He said he wasn’t lacing up as a preventative measure. Report is he was cut near the end of Saturday night’s game in Toronto, likely to his foot. But The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs writes that he is expected to be ready for Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings and to play in the All-Star game next weekend.

Carey Price.

Above is another shot of the moody mystery man that is Carey Price.

Hal Gill, Scott Gomez

There you see Hal Gill and Scott ‘Big Bucks = Loopy Grin’ Gomez. I kid you not. As he walked by, the guy right in front of us shouted at Gomer – ‘Hey 14 days Gomez!’, referring to the upcoming one-year anniversary of Mr. Gomez’s last goal in the NHL. Yikes! I’m not sure if Gomez heard it.

Brian Gionta

There’s what I think – in my oh-so-objective view – is a pretty cool photo of Habs captain Brian Gionta, who, of course, did not take to the ice at the practice.

Lars Eller

There’s my pic of our fave Danish Hab Lars Eller, talking about his win in the skate race. Great skater!

Raphael Diaz, Peter Budaj

And there’s Raphael Diaz and Peter Budaj, who were the first two Habs to join the practice, about a half-hour before all of their team-mates. Yeah that’s right, they drew the short straw – they had to get up Sunday morning before everyone elese, following two consecutive-night road games.

All in all, it was a real fun morning. There hasn’t been much to cheer about during this hellish Habs season and so it was a blast to just forget about that for a couple of hours and rekindle the love affair between Montreal and our hockey club.
Seeing 15,000 people cheering P.K. Subban, Carey Price and Erik Cole, I was struck by just how much the city cares about its hockey team. We live for the Habs, which is why we’re so upset about how things have gone. But for one winter morning, we forgot all that and once again showed our love for les Canadiens. They say hockey is a religion ’round these parts but that doesn’t even capture the intensity of this love affair. And for the first time in a long, long time, it felt good to be a Habs fan.

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