10 places to watch Canadiens playoffs inspired by 10 great Habs
Montréal is blessed with an abundance of exceptional places to take in its National Hockey League heroes, the Montréal Canadiens (known affectionately as the “Habs”). With playoff season on the horizon, and the Habs looking good to go deep, it’s time to start thinking about where to watch the games. With so many choices, we thought we’d let 10 of your favourite players and members of the Habs family be your guide to hockey-watching good times.
Max Pacioretty: A leader by example whose class is complemented by one of the wickedest wrist shots in the game. Class, with a few surprises of its own (especially when it comes to kitchen creations), could also describe the Mile End’s Bishop Bagg neighbourhood British-inspired pub, brought to you by the same folks behind the hugely popular Burgundy Lion pub in Little Burgundy.
Andre Markov: An incredibly hardworking, smart and no-nonsense player with a delightfully subversive and dangerously sharp sense of humour. McLean’s Pub in downtown Montréal embodies many of these same great traits in addition to providing a serious sports atmosphere and fantastic game grub.
P.K. Subban: Subban is flashy, fun and fast, and when he’s on the ice the play unfolds so quickly that sometimes it’s hard to know where to look. Which also sounds like both Sainte-Catherine Street locations (one East and one West) of the TV-screen-crammed, sensory-overloading Station des Sports, where the action is always packed.
Brandon Prust: A scrappy, no-quit team player with serious playmaking skills and a healthy appetite for fun with his buds. The same could be said in spades for Saint-Laurent Blvd.’s Chez Serge, where hockey madness escapes the asylum for hours of game night craziness. Just ask the mechanical bull.
Carey Price: Confident, self-assured and a consistent crowd pleaser and character player, Price is a true champ. The long-serving and popular Champs on St-Laurent Blvd. is a classic, old-school sports bar with a friendly, enthusiastic clientele and perfect puck-drop pub munchies. Guaranteed good times.
Tomas Plekanec: A perennially high-scorer, Plekanec is a straight shooter, both on and off the ice. It’s what you want in a hockey player, a locker room leader and a… bowler. The massive Forum Sports Bar (located in the reimagined former home of the Habs, the historic Montréal Forum) is a one-stop entertainment shop with no less than 32 giant TV screens for watching hockey and 16 10-pin bowling lanes for working off any after-match anxiety.
Brendan Gallagher: A feisty fan favourite, the indefatigable Gallagher is a menace in front of the net and skates like he has wings. Speaking of which (and here’s where we’ll say, in the interest of reader safety, you have been warned), La Cage aux Sports is a go-to sports enthusiast mainstay with a very popular yearly promotion: eight free wings when the Habs score five or more goals.
Dale Weise: An unfailingly reliable, understated yet always entertaining giver of a player who has found a permanent home in the hearts of Montrealers. Kind of like any and all of the six locations of Ye Olde Orchard Pub Grill, which are everyday faves of food-, suds- and sports-loving locals.
General Manager Marc Bergevin: He’s hip, he’s savvy, he’s smart and he’s so passionate about the Habs it pains him to hide it. So he doesn’t. All of the aforementioned could be said about the clientele of the Plateau Mont-Royal’s quirky and comfy Taverne Normand, where hockey-watching emotions are encouraged to go unchecked and where even regular season games feel like the playoffs.
And finally… Coach Michel Therrien: A bit of a mystery at times, Therrien’s a tried and true winner at heart. And so is the labyrinthine Hurley’s Irish Pub on Crescent Street in the heart of downtown Montréal. It’s where Habs players, coaches and team management have often been known to convene post-game, as much for the fab food and fine selection of libations as for its dynamic and convivial hockey-friendly atmosphere complete with live post-game Celtic music. Habs go Brách!
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