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Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban (top) checks Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand during third period NHL hockey action in Montreal.


Let's see, Zdeno Chara is "disappointed" at Montreal fans who cheered when he took a puck square in the yap on Wednesday on a clearing attempt from Tomas Plekanec.

And Brad Marchand thought the move "embarrassing" and "classless."

Well, he would certainly know.

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There is a long and pointless debate to be had on the death of civility in hockey arenas - and most other places - but for people who ply their trade in Boston, of all places, to complain?

At least Chara could be seen to be moving on the ice, which can't be said of another recent occasion that may, possibly, have left an imprint in the collective psyche of Montreal fans.

It wasn't polite to cheer for Chara's injury, which turned out to be minor, but nor should it have been unexpected.

This sad truth is this is how everyone rolls now - anyone who thinks fans in Boston wouldn't have cheered lustily had the same thing happened to P.K. Subban on Causeway Street needs to consult a pharmacist immediately.

The original sin may well have been committed in Philadelphia's Veteran Stadium, where over the decades the warm, gracious crowds booed everyone from Santa Claus to Dallas receiver Michael Irvin, as he lay motionless after suffering a career-ending neck injury.

The new stadium has lovingly conserved some of those charming traditions: at a game between the Eagles and Jacksonville a couple of years back, we heard with our own ears as a group of hecklers were themselves heckled by fellow Philly fans for the poor quality of their taunts.

More likely this stuff predates anything the fans in the City of Brotherly Love conjured up, and in any case, the lout ethos has spread to all sorts of other sports and venues, including Boston.

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There can certainly be an edge to the Bell Centre, an ugly side that most often erupts at Leafs games or the national anthems during the playoffs (although they haven't booed the Star Spangled Banner with any gusto for several years).

Benoit Pouliot, called Montreal fans "a little gutless" - not exactly a shining moment of self-awareness from the former Hab, who presumably held a different opinion last season when he watched Chara nail Max Pacioretty.


The Bruins may have a point about the boorishness of Montreal's fans - and just because fans in other places exhibit ill behaviour is no reason to engage in same.

But huffing about it with soap-star melodrama is a tiny bit much from this bunch.

It's among the many reasons fans in Montreal love to hate them.

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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More

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