It’s been one of those years. You never know what you are going to get when you sit down to watch a Habs game — well, Puck the Bunny knows — but for the rest of us, it’s a crapshoot. Will the Canadiens dominate the best team in the league, like they did in the Detroit game, or will they struggle against one of the cellar dwellers?
The folks at Molson were kind enough to invite the All Habs crew to see the renovations, meet Habs alumni and experience a Canadiens game from the Molson Ex Zone. Pay close attention when you visit — you’ll notice a theme. The story starts on the practise rink with “pucks scattered on the ice” in the lobby, and continues right through to inspirational words on the back of the seats.
One of the members of the All Habs crew flew in from Philadelphia to take in the experience — here is her tale.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – 1,596 miles. 36 hours. 4 planes. 3 hours of driving. 2 hours of delays. 1 ticket to the Habs home opener at the Bell Centre. Crazy? Outlandish? Worth it? Yes, yes and YES!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received the email from the Molson Corporation announcing that my involvement with the All Habs team had garnered me two free tickets to the Canadiens first home game of the season. Granted, any fan would be thrilled to get a free pass to see their team…but this would be my first chance to see the Habs play in person for a regular season game AND would also be my first game at the Bell Centre. Needless to say, I was a wee bit excited.
For the last couple of years, I’ve graciously withstood the jibs and jabs that most of my Habs friends send my way in regards to my Twitter name. It’s all in good fun and those who know me best know that I truly am a Habs fan – it’s not my fault I grew up loving hockey in the Philadelphia area! Anyone else who still needs proof? Just keep reading – if this story doesn’t seal the deal on my Canadiens dedication, I don’t know what will.
There was no question that I wouldn’t accept such a gracious gift from Molson Canada, so the next step was to start the logistical planning. I had just a few days to figure out how to get to Montreal and back for a Thursday night game without having to take too much time off from work and also get back in time for a Saturday morning commitment that couldn’t be rescheduled. Boy do I love an organizing challenge!
I am not a morning person. No way, no how. But on game day, I woke up and went to work more than an hour early just so that I could leave the office at a time that would allow me to catch an early afternoon flight. Commence pedal-to-the-metal driving to get to the Newark Airport fifteen minutes faster than usual, grab my bag out of the trunk and flat-out RUN from the parking lot to my terminal (cue stereotypical movie scene with crazy lady running through the airport – yeah that was me).
Thankfully my flight is on time and, after connecting in Toronto, I finally land at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport. At 4:45 pm. Run through terminal (again), stand in a lineup to catch a cab, and finally get on the highway at 5:03 pm. I tell the cab driver that I need to be at the Bell Centre at 5:00 (that’s right, 3 minutes ago buddy!) and to get me there as quickly as possible, in rush hour traffic. Well lucky me – I picked the ONLY CAB DRIVER IN ALL OF MONTREAL WHO DRIVES BELOW THE SPEED LIMIT. Oh, you want to get in front of our car to merge? Actually THREE cars wanna do that? SURE, we’re in no hurry. Commence banging my head on the seat in front of me.
An hour later, I’m finally crossing Centennial Plaza to pick up my tickets. Needless to say, I had now missed the entire pre-game cocktail with the alumni and needed to pick up my game ticket at the box office. Give that cabbie an extra big tip! He was kind enough to point me to the WRONG ticket window and sent me on a wild goose chase to the Metro ticket counter. I finally made my way back outside, back across the plaza and over to the correct box office. Commence growling out loud in frustration.
At last, however, I got my ticket and wound my way up to the Molson Ex Zone where I found my fellow teammates waiting for me in the hallway outside of our section. The big hugs and big smiles I was greeted with made the stress of getting there completely worth it. AND THE HABS WERE IN THE BUILDING! Commence crying at the flag-bearers when they skated onto the ice, cheering loudly when the Habs scored a goal, and groaning even louder at each subsequent Flames goal after that.
Soooo the game itself wasn’t exactly spectacular. OK, it was a really bad showing by the Habs. And sure, when I flew home the next day it was really windy and the flights were really bumpy and I don’t like flying to begin with and then I was stuck in Toronto for an extra two hours because of how windy it was in Newark and then they let us board the plane and then made us get back off again for another hour and then we finally took off and I didn’t pull into my driveway until 12:15am. (Whew.)
But I was THERE. I have photos to prove it. I have the Molson folks (who were so nice and so helpful) and this awesome All Habs team to thank for it. And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Commence grinning from ear-to-ear.
Follow me on Twitter at @FlyersRule (yeah, yeah – I know. I promise to get the Habs into my Twitter name soon!)
About the Author (Author Profile)Amy is the manager and lead contributor of the Habs Tweetup website. She is a professional voice actor and is the vocal talent behind All Habs OUT LOUD. We try to overlook her fascination with the Orange & Black and take solace that she is almost equally passionate about the Canadiens. Her favourite NHL player is Martin Biron. When she's not watching hockey or traveling to a Habs Tweetup, Amy can be found watching other sports like football, baseball, and tennis. She also enjoys reading, watching movies, gardening, and performing as a bellydancer.
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