Eric Staal remembers the Canadiens’ path to 2021. He thinks the pandemic spoiled some of the fun. https://t.co/DczsDKwLUj
– Jonathan Bernier (@JBernierJDM) June 6, 2023
In the midst of his third career Stanley Cup Final(and confident he’ll be back on track), Eric Staal spoke to Jonathan Bernier of Le Journal de Montréal about his final with the Canadiens in 2021.
The people of Quebec will remember a playoff run in which they were freed, gradually, from the sanitary restrictions in place. From the (illegal) gatherings outside the Bell Centre to the small crowds allowed inside the amphitheatre, Quebec felt the summer approaching as it celebrated its team’s finest run since 1993.
That said, it’s all very poetic, but it doesn’t change the fact that for the two games played in Montreal during the final, only 3,500 people were allowed inside the Bell Centre.
After playing in front of a packed house against the Lightning, that’s not a good atmosphere to be in.
“With that many spectators in the amphitheatre, it probably would have been different. You live that energy, you feel it. I noticed it as a player on the opposing team. I played in the playoffs there, with the Hurricanes, in 2006. It’s an incredible atmosphere. But what can you say, it was the reality we had to deal with at the time.”
Considering that the Habs won Game 4 in overtime at home, Staal’s assessment is that the CH could have snatched Game 3 from the Lightning’s grasp in front of a packed house. As it was, Montreal lost 6-3.
Is he right? Theoretically yes – anything’s possible and we’ll never know – but in reality, we can seriously question whether Dominique Ducharme’s men would have been uplifted enough to win the Cup in front of a compact club like the Bolts.
– Trevor Zegras and Jack Hughes, published by Cole Caufield.
Jack Hughes & Trevor Zegras are supportive friends 😌 pic.twitter.com/jVjJ1ePQV
– /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) June 6, 2023
CH and Aléo Foundation award $54,000 in scholarshipshttps://t.co/AWyFn2EDmp
– RDS (@RDSca) June 6, 2023
– It takes.