You will soon arrive in Montreal for your vacation or for your expatriation ? Did you know that field hockey is the national sport in Canada in winter? More than a sport, field hockey gathers thousands of fans and has quickly become the most popular sport in Canada . In Montreal, the city vibrates with the colors of the Montreal Canadiens, the emblematic team of the city.
Would you like to know everything about this iconic sport and the Montreal team? This article is for you.
We will enlighten you on field hockey in Montreal and how to see a game alone or with friends to enjoy the excitement of this sport that firmly unites Quebecers.
Hockey in Montreal: The NHL and the Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens is the city's hockey club. This hockey club is to Montrealers what the Knicks are to New York or what the Olympique de Marseille is to the city of Marseille .
There is a rare fervour on game nights at the Bell Centre, you can see the pride Montrealers have for their club. You can see Canadiens jerseys on countless people. But that's not all, the most impressive thing is to see Canadiens flags on fire trucks, in bars, restaurants, shops and even on dozens and dozens of cars.
What is the NHL?
As for the field hockey season, the Montreal Canadiens play in the National Hockey League: the NHL. The league includes the best Canadian and American franchises. A regular season consists of 82 games, half at home and half on the road. The 8 best teams of the East and West divisions will play the playoffs, which will add more than twenty additional games and thus bring to more than a hundred games for the finalists of the Stanley Cup.
Where to see a hockey event in Montreal?
Field hockey games take place at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Historically, the Bell Centre is a mythical and attractive place in Montreal. It was called the Molson Centre because it was financed and built by the owner of the same name. Since 1996, it has been home to the Canadiens. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal at 1909 Av. des Canadiens, the arena has 21,302 seats. This emblematic place of Montreal welcomes today, in addition to field hockey, the biggest international stars for the great concerts and shows of Montreal.
GO HABS GO ! What is it?
At first glance, you would think that fan chants would have a positive origin, but not all the time and the Montreal Canadiensclub is the exception that proves the rule.
We will go back to the Quebec of the beginning of the XXth century, at that time two field hockey teams existed, the Montreal Canadiens, a mainly French speaking team and the Montreal Maroons, an English speaking team. The two teams were rivals and over the years the Maroons club died out while the Montreal Canadiens became a real institution in the field hockey world. The Anglophones, vexed by this disappointment of their club, found themselves supporting the Canadiens, however they still wanted to throw their little pick by going to support them by chanting "Go Habs Go".
Indeed, originally, the word "Habs" comes from a pejorative term aimed at the French inhabitants of Quebec, because at that time of the beginning of the XXth century, they live for the most part in the countryside and are for the majority in agriculture. The term "habitant" was attributed to those people from the countryside, a bit rough and living outside the city.
When the Francophones realized at the time that this song that had become almost a cult was finally an insult, they decided to replace "Go Habs Go" with "Halte là, les Canadiens sont là".
It wasn't until about 30 years ago that the famous "Go Habs Go" came back with a more positive impetus than it had at first and was able to replace the French saying. If you go to the Bell Centre, be prepared to hear "Go Habs Go", but now you'll know how to explain the history of this chant to your neighbor.
The 2020/2021 season and the Canadians in the Playoffs
In the last season 2020-2021, nobody expected the Montreal Canadiens to make the Playoffs, they surprised everyone by achieving an extraordinary season. After struggling to qualify for the play-offs, the Montreal club qualified for the conference finals by beating the rival Toronto Maple Leafs in 7 spectacular games.
To then face one of the big favorites of this 2020/2021 season, the Vegas Golden Knights. After a complicated start, Montreal ended up winning this conference final (4 wins to 2), an immense joy filled the streets of Montreal to enter the Playoffs for the first time since the last Stanley Cup victory in 1993. This event, worthy of the World Cup here in Canada, was followed by millions of people, but the Tampa Bay Lightning, the defending champion, was a step too high for our Canadiens. They lost that final (4 wins to 1) in a tremendous series. The 2020-2021 team, won the hearts of old and new fans.
What are the PlayOffs?
This term is specific to North American sports championships, and refers to the matches that take place at the end of the championship between the top teams. after the end of the championship between the best teams of the championship. At the end of this set of matches, the champion will be chosen?
Hockey in Montreal: buying tickets to see a game
To get tickets to see a game at the Bell Centre, it is a little more complex. Most of the time, you'll have to go to the Canadiens' partner ticket resale sites to get tickets. But don't worry, for the games with mid or low ranked clubs, there will always be affordable tickets.
The cheapest seats to get to the Bell Centre are around $100. If you then want to get closer to the ice and be at the edge of the rink, you'll need a bigger envelope.
Don't worry, the stadiums, ice rinks and other venues in North America are very well designed, so even if you are at the top, you can see the game perfectly.
Visit the official Ticketmaster resale site to get your tickets to see a field hockey game for less!
Maplr's sport referent
Montreal Canadiens: Carey Price, THE player to know
The historical players are immortalized in the form of statues in front of the Bell Centre. We will let you discover this memorial of the greatest players of the Montreal CH, all the statues are accompanied by a small historical note that will help you understand their exploits.
Recently, the most emblematic player of the Canadiens is the great Carey Price: he is the goalie of the club for 14 seasons now. Carey was born in Anahim Lake, Canada, he is now the most Quebecois of the Canadiens, no one in Quebec will have a bad word to say about this extraordinary player. Here, you will see many people on game days wearing Carey Price's jersey, he is the current legend of the club.
Hockey in Montreal: Bars and restaurants where to watch hockey in Montreal
Outside of the Bell Centre, you can always go enjoy a great poutine at a bar that is broadcasting the game, with the amazing atmosphere that comes with the Canadiens. Here are our favourite sports bars to watch the Montreal Canadiens game:
- The Cage : in addition to being one of the official HQ for the parties MaplrThe Cage is above all a wonderful place to experience the atmosphere of the matches while sipping a beer or a soda!
- The MVP : Sports bar located in the heart of downtown which exists since 1999 !
The vocabulary of the hockey pros you need to know
A complete lexicon exists to perform in a conversation between field hockey fans in Quebec, but if you were to learn only a few words about Hockey in Canada, here they are:
Puck/Puck/Disc/Puck: the disc for playing field hockey
The NHL: National Hockey League
The Stanley Cup: is a North American ice hockey trophy awarded annually by the National Hockey League to the winning team in the NHL Playoffs.
Maplr's sport referent
Hockey in Canada: how to watch the NHL from France or by streaming
Where to play hockey in Montreal?
Before you start playing field hockey, why not practice skating first? While we have little doubt about your level of glide and stability, it is always easier to handle a lacrosse if you have a good grip on your legs?!
Enjoy, in winterIn the winter, many parks in Montreal and Canada offer skating rinks for you to have fun! Of course, if you prefer to be indoors in the warmth, many arenas will allow you to train all year long. At 1000 de la Gauchetière streetyou will find the most animated indoor skating rink in the city which also offers courses for all ages and levels!
So are you ready to jump on the ice and become the next Price of history?
The city of Montreal has set up a portal that allows you to find all the ice rinks around you.
Hockey Culture at Maplr
At Maplr, we are passionate about hockey and we regularly offer skating lessons and outings to see hockey games at the Bell Centre or in a bar! For some, winter is a season complicatedFor some people, winter is a season, but for us, it's an opportunity to take advantage of this magnificent season to practice skating and to integrate a little bit more into the Canadian culture!
If you are a Tech looking for opportunities in Canada, don't hesitate to contact us and sign up for our free support program for Canada!