Watching Montreal Come Back to Life (+ We Love the Habs!)

The Montreal Canadiens' playoff run came to an end last night, and in truth I'm crestfallen. But Looking back it was such a beautiful run and so important for our city, especially coming out of a Pandemic, that I'm filled with gratitude. 

Montreal and Quebec as a whole were hit hardest in Canada by Covid-19 and had some of the most intense restrictions in the country (a province-wide curfew for months, mass-closures, etc). A city that's used to tourism and festivals was incredibly quiet last summer as well as early this Spring. But the Habs started the Stanley Cup playoffs at the same time our province vaccine roll out was ramping up and the timing was perfection. By the first round of the playoffs most Montrealers had received their first dose and by the final round many were double vaccinated. Our first dinner guest in 18 months was our dear friend Camille who joined us for a meal and the game afterwards. We won that game and so many this playoffs, and playing in the final against the best team in the league was a huge accomplishment, even if we couldn't defeat Tampa Bay in the end. 

This Playoff run was great to watch as a Habs fan, but truly so much more special in light of what our city and country are coming out of. Hockey unifies Montreal like little else can, and being able to watch games with others, gather in alleyways, pubs, or public spaces to watch the games made it so memorable. It was also the first time our kids have taken such an interest in hockey and the Canadiens, and by the end all three would stay up for most of the games (at least until the second period!) and they all knew each player by name. The vested interest was a sweet thing to share as a family and city. 

Last night Brad and I went downtown to watch the game on the big screen with several thousand of our best friends, haha! You had to register online before and it was all very peaceful. No crazy riots or anything, just disappointed fans walking home after the game ended. It was amazing to be in an outdoor crowd again, especially one as unified and excited. 

Montreal, it's so good to see you again! And to the Habs, bon match, on vous aime, et à l'année prochaine!

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