The Habs’ obnoxious peanut gallery
We’d really love to print some kind, sympathetic words for fans of the Montreal Canadiens, who were unceremoniously dumped from the NHL playoffs on Wednesday night by the Boston Bruins. But to be honest, the Bell Centre’s peanut gallery has shown itself to be so obnoxious that schadenfreude seems a more appropriate reaction.
At the tail end of Wednesday’s 4-1 drubbing by the Boston Bruins — the final instalment in a 4-0 series shutout — Montreal fans (most of them inebriated, no doubt) began taking out their frustration on goalie Carey Price, shouting “Carey! Carey!” as the last minutes of the third period ticked away. At one point, the goaltender stopped a long, easy shot from centre ice, and the crowd burst into mock applause. When Mr. Price responded by throwing up his hands in a gesture of exasperation, announcers suggested he was being touchy and unprofessional.
But we’re on Mr. Price’s side. In fact, we’d understand his reaction if he went further and flipped everyone off. It’s what Montreal’s adolescent-minded fans deserve.
These are the same fans, remember, who periodically disgrace Canada by booing the American national anthem — a practice begun in 2003 and continued, most recently, at Monday’s game against Boston. And then there are the hockey riots, which have broken out on increasingly flimsy pretexts in recent years. Sad to say, but Canadiens fans have become Canada’s answer to European football hooligans. Perhaps these fans’ juvenile behaviour might be explainable if we were presented with a case of legitimately dashed expectations. But the Canadiens haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1993.
Montrealers often drone on about how their city’s fans “expect” Stanley Cups, as if such arrogance were admirable. In fact, it was an unattractive quality when the Canadiens were actually winning those championships — driving fans into febrile monomania; and causing them to ignore other sports, such as baseball. Now that they’re not, it looks downright peevish.
Re: The Habs’ Obnoxious Peanut Gallery, editorial, April 24.
Montreal Canadiens fans like to boast that they are the savviest connoisseurs of the game. Yet time and time again, they have proven, both in the arena and on the streets of Montreal, that they are nothing more than an unruly mob of barbarians who keep disgracing themselves, their team, their city, their province and their country. Given the way these “fans” treat the players, why would any talented individual want to play here?
Pat Biondi, Montreal.