He extended the rubber band as far as possible by delaying the return date to the Canadian Bell Center. This strategy, developed with the complexity of the NHL and the team buying time, thanks to the serious spread of positive COVID-19 cases in December.
But there is a limit to slowing down the hour glass. CH will return Tuesday after a seven-game long tour of the rival ranks, crossing the United States with stops in Boston, Chicago, Glendale, Dallas, Vegas, Denver and St Paul.
The reunion at the Bell Center will be done with as much discretion as possible. Margaret Belanger of France, president of CH Group Sports and Entertainment, has confirmed something she has already been skeptical of for days.
“I’m sorry to announce that we will be playing our next three games behind closed doors at the Bell Center,” Ms Belanger said in an interview with the Le Journal.
CH returns to Montreal on Thursday to visit the Anaheim ducks. There will be no spectators on the stand to see the prowess of young Trevor Zegras and Jamie Driesdale.
After the ducks, the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue jackets land at the Bell Center on Saturdays and Sundays. During their solo visit to Quebec, Connor McDavid and Leon Driesight Bell Center completely silence the snow. So even though it is very rare in Montreal, there is no risk that the Oilers will look loyal, just throw the team jersey on the ice.
For the Blue Jackets, it should be noted that Max Domi did not have the opportunity to congratulate his former supporters. Trained for Columbus in October 2020 for winger Josh Anderson, Domi has yet to face his former teammate. However, there are very few fans who regret the lack of a standing ovation for Tie’s son.
This season will not be the first experience for a Canadian without an audience presence. On December 16, the date of the last game at the Bell Center, Canadians closed their amphitheater doors at the last minute following Quebec public health orders. CH won 3 to 2 flyers in the shootout.
However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Like the rest of the community, the Canadian expects a easing of security measures from the Quebec government.
“We have a mini game in the month of February, Ms. Bélanger recalled. We have postponed the February 1 meeting. After the game ends on January 30th, our next meeting will be on February 8th. We are in several talks with the government to bring back supporters, but nothing is clear yet. There may be positive news on or after January 31st.
CH wants to review the percentage of supporters from February. In team management, we have repeatedly mentioned to the Franకోois Legalt government that no outbreak was detected at the Bell Center and that sanitary measures such as wearing a mask were always applied.
In Ottawa, the team closest to Montreal geographically, the senators will also play their next three games (Sabers on January 25, Hurricanes on January 27 and Ducks on January 29) behind closed doors. From January 31, Sense will receive up to 500 supporters. We aim to return to 50% of Canadian tire center capacity by February 21st.
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