Last season when the Canadiens stormed their way through the playoffs and upset both the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, some Habs fans got a little bit too excited. By that we mean they took to the streets and started burning police cars and causing a grand spectacle of how not to celebrate a playoff win the right way.
With the Habs playing Game 7 tonight in Boston and the fans in Montreal set to be out and about at any of their favorite watering holes to watch the game and either celebrating their team’s win or drowning their sorrows in the finest Quebec beers, the Montreal Police Department isn’t taking anything lightly and are preparing for anything to happen tonight.
Sportsnet in Canada has the update on how the Montreal PD is closing down parts of downtown Montreal just in case things get out of hand.
A one-kilometre stretch of busy Ste-Catherine Street will be closed to traffic starting at 8 p.m. and a “festive zone” will be set up for fans adjacent to the Bell Centre.
Chief Insp. Sylvain Lemay said police are ready, regardless of the outcome of the game.
“The police won’t tolerate any mischief or indiscipline from people or fans wanting to celebrate downtown,” Lemay said.
Closing down part of Ste. Catherine Street is a good way to try and curtail any sorts of shenanigans. Just where are young gentlemen with no interest in hockey going to find their entertainment tonight though? I mean… What?
After what broke loose last year it’s in the city’s interest to be vigilant about keeping the peace downtown as there’s a small subsect of fans that just can’t celebrate the right way. And besides, any good sports fan knows that winning a first round series isn’t worth torching downtown for. Not that any round is worth doing that but things seem to work on a different sort of level in Montreal.
Here’s to hoping that regardless of the outcome the fans don’t help feed into the stereotype of how insane and dangerous fans can be in Montreal during the playoffs.