The Montreal Canadiens received some good news yesterday evening: they’ll be playing in front of full capacity crowds effective March 12. The Canadiens, who haven’t played in front of a full house since their 2-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on December 9, will welcome the return of the most rabid and passionate fan base in hockey. The timing is perfect, as the Canadiens are now offering some of the most exciting performances this season, giving fans a reason to want to fill up the Bell Centre.
On vous donne TOUS rendez-vous le 12 mars! 🙌
See you ALL back on March 12!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 2, 2022
The Montreal Canadiens were forced to play all their home games between December 16 and January 30 without any fans in the stands, which even forced the NHL to have to shift their schedule around to place more home games later in the season. The Habs were finally allowed to have 50% capacity at the Bell Centre as of February 21, where they greeted the return of fans with a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maples Leafs.
”Even at 50%, it feels full” said Cole Caufield on what it felt like to have fans in the building when measures allowed for 50% capacity.
Originally, the Quebec government had previously stated that March 14 would be the date where venues would be allowed to return to 100%. They since changed course and moved their timeline up two days, allowing the Montreal Canadiens to experience the roar of a capacity crowd at the Bell Centre immediately after a gruelling western road trip. This return to normalcy will be a welcomed sight for Canadiens fans in the province, who have only been able to attend max capacity games 15 times in the last 24 months.
Their first game back will be an important one for those interested in the NHL Draft, as the Arizona Coyotes will be in town on March 12 to do battle with the Canadiens. Despite Arizona and Montreal being the two worst-ranked teams in the NHL, you just know the fans of the Montreal Canadiens are going to make that night very special, regardless of the outcome.