When I was a kid, back in the pre-Loto Québec era, Montreal had a brisk underground trade in pool tickets that were pegged to the time goals were scored.
I seem to remember a mini-scandal embroiling the Forum timekeeper shaving a few seconds here and there to influence the winning numbers.
So maybe we could revive the clock pool for tomorrow night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning:
How many ticks on the clock will elapse before the Canadiens are booed at the Bell Centre?
We won’t wait long for a winner. If Tampa Bay scores first and if the Lightning make it look easy, catcalls will coincide with the red light going on.
A colleague whom I met coming out of the métro this morning said she doesn’t like to hear the home team booed at the Bell Centre.
I disagreed. Mike Komisarek got it right when he said, after the latest Saturday night debacle, that fans "pay good money" and have every right to be frustrated by the Canadiens’ bad performances.
The Canadiens sell out the league’s biggest arena. Fans pay up to $150 a ticket to drink $10 beers, eat $6 hot dogs and watch millionaires play hockey. It’s debatable whether any sporting event is worth that expenditure, but a fan who’d paid $20 would feel ripped off watching the stumbling, bumbling home side lose ignominiously to Detroit and Carolina.
Montreal is not Philadelphia. Fans here are supportive and not overly critical of the Canadiens.
Moreover, Bell Centre crowds know their hockey. And they’re realistic enough to accept their team being schooled by the mighty Red Wings. Carolina, however, is not the best team in the league. Seeing their team smoked by the Hurricanes put the fans in a foul mood, and they let the Canmadiens know they were not amused.
There may be more of the same tomorrow. And if the Lightning wins easily and Canadiens lose in Philadelphia on Thursday, I predict paper bags will be spotted for Saturday night’s visit by the Leafs.