Friday, September 25, 2009

Montreal Canadiens Deal Beer Vendors a Nasty Blow

The pre-season is a special time for true NHL hockey fans. It's a time where dreams of playoff glory and Stanley Cup parades dance in our heads as we giddishly prepare for the season opener in anticipatory glee that can best be compared to that of a five-year old's impatience with Father Time during Christmas week.

Being optimistic is part of the fun, but for Montreal fans the wholesale changes that the team made over the summer is somewhat disconcerting. Not only will we have to re-learn jersey numbers and player idiosyncrasies, the loss of our erstwhile stars is painful and if our replacement crew doesn't perform, fans will turn on management faster than you can say "Et tu Brute?"

As to how our Habs will do this year, it's hard for us to say. The pundits are clearly confused with the majority taking the safe approach by predicting that the team will end up where they finished last year- In the playoffs, but barely.
I'm going to agree with the prediction of how the Habs will do.
  1. Boston (5th in east)
  2. Buffalo (6th in east)
  3. Montreal (7th in East)
  4. Toronto (10th in east)
  5. Ottawa (13 th in east)
One thing easy to predict, is that ticket prices will go up and that the price of beer will continue to rise. No trip to the Bell Centre is complete without the mandatory stop at the ATM before the game.

This year's fifty cent rise in the price of beer is particularly difficult to swallow- not for fans, but for beer vendors.
At $10 even, it means that the automatic 50¢ tip that the hawkers could expect when the price was $9.50, is gone.

Oh the inhumanity!

Me, I have long ago forsaken $100 beer nights at the Bell Centre and have fatefully decided to go down the cheapskate route. I also categorically refuse to pay $4.50 for water.

Instead of visiting ATM before the game, I head over to the liquor store and purchase one or two little bottles of vodka at $7.35. The curved shape of the lightweight plastic bottle is an ideal format to stuff down your pants. Although the practice of smuggling booze into the building is most definitely not kosher, who's going to catch you pouring the booze into a plastic cup of Coca-Cola in the bathroom stall?
It's a perfect work-around. If only I could only figure out how to bring in hot dogs, it would be perfect!

By the way, Las Vegas odds makers have the Canadiens at 30-1 to win the Stanley Cup, it's probably a generous assessment. Canadiens fans would probably accept a second round playoff defeat as highly acceptable.

As for the top teams in the NHL, here's the line on winning the Stanley cup;
Detroit Red Wings 5-1
Pittsburgh Penguins 6-1
San Jose Sharks 6-1
Chicago Blackhawks 7-1
Washington Capitals 10-1
Philadelphia Flyers 10-1
Boston Bruins 11-1

If you think Canadiens fans are eternal optimists, here's an online poll taken by (East). I imagine that it's mostly Ontario fans voting..


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