The day after the big Habs game in Vancouver, Ed Willes in the Vancouver Province wrote a column about the phenomenon that is the thousands of wound-up Habs fans who show up when their team is in town. It’s a remarkable sight to be sure, and the passion put forth from these fans outweighed anything Canucks fans could muster for their own team before, during, and after the big Tuesday night tilt at Rogers Arena.
When Montreal scored, it was like the roof was going to blow off.
Willes’ column, seen here – Ed Willes, includes a chat with the Canucks’ fine forward, US-born Ryan Kesler, whom you may recall, let everyone know on several occasions of his hatred for the Canadian team during the Olympics last year. Some even took his remarks as a slam against Canada too, but surely that couldn’t be the case, could it?
Kesler said in the piece that all the Habs fans swarming around was no big deal, it was just another game, and the Canucks have fans who follow them around the league too. But Willes answered that silliness with “not like Habs fans.”
If Kesler was a bit more of an interesting interview, he might have said that yes, it is an incredible thing to see and hear such passionate fans supporting their team. How hard would that have been? He may have even garned some admiration from Habs fans for those few words. Instead, he becomes just another sourpuss.
Montreal fans show what it means to them in an extraordinary way, and it’s more that just cheering for a hockey team. The Canadiens live in the hearts of a mind-blowing amount of British Columbians, and the streets of Vancouver and inside the arena were living proof. It’s been passed down from dads and grandpa’s and uncles, it’s those who grew up in Montreal and now live on the coast, and it’s a situation where even though these folks now live in British Columbia, there’s no chance, no chance whatsoever, that they would ever abandon their Canadiens and become Canucks fans.
The first person I talked to in Vancouver had come down from Campbell River to see his Habs. The second person I met had trekked from Courtenay, and his son had flown in from Saskatchewan. On the way back to Powell River on the ferry, I met a dad and his young son, and they told me all about getting autographs of Habs players and how much the young fellow loved his Montreal Canadiens.
C’mon Kesler, open up and tell us what you really know and understand – that the whole thing is indeed quite amazing?