Big Bell Blast!

I hadn’t seen the Canadiens play in Montreal since the late 1980s when they were still at the Forum. I’d moved to Calgary and then to the West Coast, and I couldn’t see them live unless they came to where I was.

I was gone when the Bell Centre opened in 1996, and I grew more and more curious. Could it come close to replacing the Forum? How was the atmosphere compared to the Saddledome in Calgary and Rogers Arena in Vancouver? Would the hot dogs be even close to Forum dogs?

Today I saw my first game at the Bell Centre, a Red vs. White affair to help rebuild the damage done at Lac-Megantic, and no, it wasn’t the Bruins or Leafs in town, and it wasn’t a crucial game in the standings, and there were no fights, no nastiness, or no tremendously dazzling plays.

But it was an emotional time for me. I loved the moment. It made my heart soar like a Mauritian Shelduck.

Tell me how this couldn’t be great. Darth and Lydie picked me up. I wore my mid-1950s Habs jacket. We grabbed great seats at one end. I had a free hot dog, chips and bottled water. The Habs played the Habs and the joint was sold out.

The hot dog was good but not as good as Forum dogs. I suppose it’s impossible to be that good.

White beat Red 2-1. Francis Bouillon made a nice speech. Pleks scored a nice one. Carey Price looked good. The EGG line was fine. Max seemed to have some bounce. Little Martin Reway played well. A whack of rookies played hard hoping to impress.

Peter Budaj let in a goal Betty White could stop but anyway.

I saw the tributes to former greats on the walls behind the nosebleeds. I looked for Jean Beliveau. I saw where Max Pacioretty got nailed by Zdeno Chara.

All of this sort of thing might seem old hat to you if you’ve been a bunch of times. But I’ve probably got you beat in a few other ways. I saw the Rocket play, for one.

I also noticed a new job I might go after. Riding shotgun on one of the zambonis. Little kids have the job now but if I can somehow………

I’d sure like to thank Darth and Lydie. It was a great day. 🙂

Bell 3

Bell 5

Bell 6

Bell 1

And the jacket I wore –




11 thoughts on “Big Bell Blast!”

  1. P.K. impressed me, Marjo. He did what he does. Only a bit off, which is to be expected. PK needs to beat Erik Karlsson in the Norris race. This is going to be a big focus of mine this year.

  2. Glad you had a great time Dennis. I couldn’t make it, (my work schedulers put a spike in my spokes) but I was thinking of you. You know as well as anyone, that as far as games at the Bell go, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

    Sorry to hear about the hot dog. Couldn’t the Bell with all it’s pull and priveledge, get like 8 Schwartz’s stands in there, serving smoke meat sandwiches at every level?

  3. How did the stickboy perform? This is a crucial piece of the puzzle that Marc Bergevin needs to look at.

    Mr. Bergevin, the best stickboy in the world is available for you if you would just pick up the phone…

  4. Danno it was ridiculous how poorly he performed. He should be suggesting different sticks to players who are missing the net but I never saw that. He didn’t even have on an old jacket. I don’t know know what’s going on. 🙁

  5. I think the EGG line could end up being one heck of a fun line to watch for all of us this year. Give them time to grow and we’re going to be quite happy with them.

    Dennis forgot to mention that it took him about 45 minutes to get that hot dog. We were worried about him! I had visions of him being arrested because he tried to get into the Habs’ dressing room demanding to be stick boy. Thankfully he showed up and we were relieved!

    Dennis also gave me a great gift – an autographed Sergio Aragones card, he’s a cartoonist from Mad Magazine and one of my all-time art heroes!

    It was also fun to see Dennis’ reaction to everything. He looked like a little kid all over again. It was great to see.

    Glad you enjoyed it Dennis. Now do yourself a favor and see a real game there.

  6. I’ve only seen a few games at the Bell Centre, but its sheer size (not sure, but it may be the biggest arena in terms of attendance in the NHL) sometimes swallows sound. However, get a listen to it during a playoff game. It is truly deafening!

    Excellent choice in jackets, by the way!

  7. At just $5, the red and white match is one of the few cheap thrills you can enjoy if you are a Habs fan.

    Habs play the Sabres in exhibition action tonight. It’s on RDS.

  8. I can’t get over the $11 beer, Danno. Especially from a beer-owned franchise. It should be the cheapest in the league.

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