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Canadiens fans mob the streets after Game 7 win

May 13, 2010, 1:53 AM EDT


Given how hockey-mad the city of Montreal is (they did sell out a viewing of Game 7 at the Bell Centre in 40 minutes) and given the somewhat checkered past Canadiens fans have after winning and losing big games, all eyes shifted to Quebec after the Canadiens finished off the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2.

The scene outside Bell Centre, to say the least, was manic, and much like the stereotypes that follow around fans of the Habs, some knuckleheads had to live up to the hype.

Police regained control of the downtown core early Thursday after firing tear gas at hundreds of bottle-tossing youths who looted businesses following the Montreal Canadiens’ Game 7 victory in Pittsburgh.

The vandalism occurred after most of the tens of thousands of jubilant hockey fans left the area.

Looters wrapped their faces in garments — in some cases the ones they’d stolen — and dashed into a liquor store. With their identities concealed, they leaped through the smashed front window and emerged moments later with their arms full.

Every fan base has its morons and having an excited crowd of 21,000 people dump into the streets is often asking for trouble. At least Montreal police was prepared for this, they’ve been through the routine before.

In 2008 dozens of fans were arrested and vehicles — including five police cruisers — and businesses vandalized following the Habs’ seventh-game elimination of the bitter rivals from Boston at the Bell Centre. Damage to the police cars alone was estimated at some $500,000.

That paled in comparison with riots which followed the last time the storied franchise won the Stanley Cup.

In 1993 fans leaving the old Forum converged with fans emptying packed bars along Ste Catherine St. after the Habs beat Los Angeles to claim their 24th title and looted stores all along the strip, setting police vehicles ablaze in a night of frenzy that sent nearly 1,000 officers into the streets and caused some $2.5 million in damage.

All you gather from reading that is just how crazy will things get if the Canadiens continue on this seemingly unbelievable run all the way and win the franchise’s 25th Stanley Cup. 

  1. steve hansen - May 13, 2010 at 6:05 AM

    this is nonsense. the canadiens are the weakest team in the playoffs

  2. Booby Roo - May 13, 2010 at 6:45 AM

    Weakest team in the playoffs?
    Nope. That would be any one of a long list of teams from the USA (the Canucks might be better than the Canadiens but only during the regular season).

  3. mjedlicka - May 13, 2010 at 7:19 AM

    winner boston/phil is easily the weakest team

  4. Dan - May 13, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    If they were the weakest team they wouldn’t have knocked out the President’s Trophy winner and the defending Cup champs, would they?

  5. Watt DeFark - May 13, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    So does that mean we can stop making comments about Detroit fans rioting after sports wins (I’m talkin to you, Jimmy Kimmel)?

  6. cal - May 13, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    The CANADIANS, should be proud of there team, BUT, i am disgusted with the way the fans acted, this seems to be a patern everytime they win a series or title. i can imagine, what it will be like if they win the STANLEY CUP. I for one was rooting for MONTREAL, but no longer, i hope they get elimanated after the next series of games. YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED.

  7. FRANK - May 13, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    The Habs (Montreal Canadiens) played a great hockey game on the ice, that was the news yesterday, not a bunch of criminals who where waiting for an opportunity to commit a crime. I am discusted by the jealous and angry attitudes of many who are ready to blame a City and the hockey players for the sins of others.
    PS: CAL: you are not a real HABS fan because true fans don’t drop their team over something they had nothing to do with…

  8. John galt - May 13, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    It will be a dark day for the NHL if the team from Montreal wins the cup. If future teams once again try and copy style of the Stanley Cup Champs,the return of the boring neutral zone, five men in front of the goalie style of play, stick between the legs interference, and man-on -man shadowing fresh out of the 1980’s, there will be no list of rule changes possible to return any small bit of excitement to the league.

  9. Wyosig - May 13, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    stay classy Montreal

  10. happyfan - May 13, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    It’s not the fans that do the looting. It’s common criminals who take advantage of the massive crowds that gather on the street, right in front of store windows.

  11. Bud - May 13, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    A disgruntled Pens fan maybe???, the only difference right now is that the Boston/Philly winner is STILL in the playoffs, even if just for another day. With the exception of the roughing minors to Kennedy and Cammalleri in the last minute of the 2nd period, they gave you 5 straight power plays just like the Penguins always get but it just wasn’t enough. You have the best player in the NHL and last years Stanley Cup, stop crying and take the loss. The better team for the last two weeks obviously won the series.

  12. chris - May 13, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    @John Galt. (Nice name btw, favorite book)
    You have a point, but the way Montreal played against Washington and Pittburgh… I have to say those are two of the best series in the playoffs that I have seen in years.

  13. shane - May 13, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Congrats Habs fans, your team deserved to win. Pittsburgh was obviously not prepared at all for the post season and was definitely not ready for the Habs. All u other hockey fans that thinks the Habs are lucky…..beating Washington ok. then beating Pens, that is just good ole time hockey playing right there.

  14. Joe - May 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    “It’s not the fans that do the looting. It’s common criminals who take advantage of the massive crowds that gather on the street, right in front of store windows.”
    Funnt how many criminals in Montreal wear Habs jerseys.

  15. refsdad - May 13, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Montreal is playing just great. the best teams should be in the playoffs. it doesn’t matter what they did in the reular season. Reminds me of the 1996 Panthers. They went all the way to the finals and nobody expected that.

  16. Dan - May 13, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Joe, look at the pictures from the looting. They are not wearing Habs jerseys.

  17. Ashley - May 13, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    21 000 fans watched the game at the Bell Center, 20 000 fans left causing no problems at all…. yet we should “all be ashamed”. Makes sense…

  18. grape_vine - May 13, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Joe, I was just watching CBC/Radio Canada news. If they’re wearing Habs jerseys, it’s ‘cos they just stole them from the Foot Locker shop that got looted.

  19. Stephan - May 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    These sad celebrations happen in many places which is unfortunately a sign of the times. Montreal is a beautiful city and I wish the Canadiens and their fans the ultimate hockey prize—the Stanley Cup.

  20. Mattin deBuff - May 13, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    All I know is fans from Buffalo have never rioted after winning a major sports championship. Oh, wait…

  21. MarkfromPhilly - May 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    If Philly fans behaved that way, they’d be tried for crimes against humanity at the Hague. If it’s Montreal, or any other city for that matter, then the reaction is “so what”. Just pointing out an obvious media bias against Philly fans. It’s cheap journalism.

  22. Jersey Devil - May 13, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Love what I see the Habs are doing ! Keep up the good work and rooting for ya Gomez & Gionta !! Underdogs will prevail !

  23. mp - May 13, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    What’s all the roiting about? The Canadiens haven’t won anything yet. I guess Quebecers have nothing better to do. No wonder why the rest of Canada hates them.

  24. vblkeafhk - May 14, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    having lived in montreal i can tell you it is a fairly calm city but much like other cities it has it’s share of wannabe gangster that rarely pass up a chance to cause trouble 50,000 celebrated the win 41 were arrested a pretty small percentage of the people involved but since there is a history of this this small group gets all the attention and the media makes it seem as if the people of montreal were burning their city to the ground but the truth is that these people will show up at any event that they see as a chance to steal or cause trouble this type of behaviour does not reflect that of the vast majority of habs fans and it sickens me to see the media paint them all with the same brush if you never lived in montreal it is easy to be fooled by this perception of montreal fans but rest assured these idiots are depised by us because they give us all a bad name

  25. JOHN GALT - May 15, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    “Five men in the box”
    “Collapsing down”
    “Man on man defense”
    “Blocked shot”
    “Stick between the legs”
    “Neutral zone trap”
    These are some of the announcers descriptions from the Caps and Pens series, terms that I haven’t heard this often since prior to the lockout. The way the Habs won out over two very offensive and exciting teams was to revert back to pre-lockout clutch and grab, mind numbing man-on-man defense with a big dose of borderline interference. They managed to play on the very edge of the new rules with an inferior team that backed into the playoffs by just being less mediocre than the NY Rangers.
    My point is that if by some great misfortune this team wins the Cup, it will lead the rest of the crappy teams to study and copy these classic 80’s tactics redefined for post lockout hockey. As a fan and a season ticket holder, I have very little desire to spend time and money watching the return of such boring and uninspiring hockey.

  26. Mathew - May 24, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Ya Flyers are really weak seeing that they just sent the Habs home in 5

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