Where to watch round 2

If you’ve yet to lock down your game-watching ritual, here are seven recommended places to watch the playoffs.


It’s Habs vs. Bruins. Again.

It wouldn’t be much of a season without a playoff match-up against the Montreal Canadiens’ most

hated rival. After beating the Lightning in round one, our opponent in round two is none other than those oafish, stanchion face-washing, low-blowing, fake knee-injuring, Ayn Rand-loving (at least when Tim Thomas was around) Masshole thugs from Boston. Needless to say, we hope the Habs fustigate the Bruins, breaking Don Cherry’s heart in the process.

But the games must be played first, and as you know, it’s always better to do so in the company of likeminded fans with hearts as pure as yours. You likely already have a special place where you watch games of significance, but if not, here are a few suggestions outside of the usual Irish pubs around the Bell Centre and Sergakis-owned sports hangars (all fine choices, but they fill up fast). My concern is that if you’ve yet to lock down your game-watching ritual, it’s because your fandom is not pure of heart, and that in revealing these spots, you’ll be taking the place of a more deserving fan. Do not let me down.

Of course, anywhere with a television and something to drink is fine (I watched game seven of the Habs-Pens series in 2010 on a tiny screen at Comedy Works, and it got the job done). Dives without a set plan for showing the game can also be easily adapted to accommodate hockey watching, like when the owners of Bar Tropical on St-Hubert moved a pool table out of the way so I would have an unobstructed view of the television. There are places I used to go to where the Habs always seemed to lose, but I won’t mention them here.

Arguably the best (and rowdiest) place to watch the game these days is at Brasserie Laurier (266 Laurier E). It has big bottles of Laurentide, considerable space and a scratch kitchen selling Westernized Chinese grub, including the surprisingly tasty General Tao’s poutine.

You can never go wrong with old standby Chez Baptiste (1045 Mont-Royal E./3014 Masson), or with the drink selection at Pub Brouhaha (5860 De Lorimier). Yes, I am trying to nudge you eastward. The Habs, along with our mutual hatred for our Beantown rivals, are a uniting force.

Out in Seedy-N, Resto-Bar la Maisonnée (5385 Gatineau) is likely where the U de M kids will watch.

Our main man down on Monk suggested Sport Rock Café (6688 Monk) as his go-to.

Dispatches from our Parc Ex-pert say Bar Pam Pam (491 Jean-Talon W.) always has two TVs showing sports at any given time, so one of them must show the Habs. It’s been said that an old Mirror colleague can be found game night in Villecray cray at the old-school la Québécoise (236 Jarry).

Out in the Hen, I caught a game at Bar de Courcelle (4685 Notre-Dame W.) earlier this season, where Max Pacioretty scored a hat-trick, and I had his number at my table. The shots were flowing.

Finally, some love for Plateau spot Aux Verres Stérilisés (800 Rachel E). During the Caps-Habs series in 2010, I alternated between that bar and the one two doors over, Tap Room, which is now closed. I watched the game at the former the night Jaroslav Halak made 53 saves. After the game I stumbled out of the bar, and for some reason, decided to walk between two motorcycles parked closely together in order to cross the street. I accidentally tapped one of the bikes, nearly causing it to topple over. After regaining my composure, I looked up, to see none other than local rock star and motorcycle enthusiast Eric Lapointe, in full Habs regalia, giving me the stink eye.

I’d like to think his cross look provided the Habs with good luck. Go Habs go. ■