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Habs fans lacking in class with anthem booing

04.21.09 at 8:58 am ET
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MONTREAL, Quebec — As can happen whenever the Bruins and Canadiens meet in a heated Stanley Cup playoffs matchup, the crowd got a little overzealous in the rivalry during Monday night’s Game 3 at the Bell Centre — and actually booed the Star Spangled Banner with lust when Charles Prevost-Linton belted out to the nationalist tune prior to the hockey action.

It didn’t end up helping the Habs as the Bruins methodically pounded down the Canadiens to the tune of a 4-2 final score that puts the Black and Gold up by a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. It’s Boston’s first 3-to-zip lead in a playoff series dating back to the old days of divisional series play back in 1992.

The move was a sure sign of frustration by Habs fans that have seen it all come crashing down for their hockey organization this hockey season during a 100-year celebration. It was supposed to be a watershed year for Les Canadiennes while hosting the NHL All-Star Game and the NHL Draft in June, but instead it’s been disaster and disarray. 

Instead, the fandom has been relegated to ignorant, classless displays of disrespect toward the United States’ national anthem. There’s past precedent with the Canadiens fans — and it’s gotten to the point in year’s past that Habs legend Jean Beliveau had to tape a message for the jumbotron in 2005-06 urging the teeming masses in CHC jerseys to refrain from booing during the anthems.

The cascade of boos didn’t exactly shock the American-born players or the Canadien skaters on the Bruins — many of whom can be seen mouthing the words and singing along to Rene Rancourt while he belts out the Star Spangled Banner during pregame ceremonies at the Garden — to see it go down. But it’s always something that causes the perpetual shaking of the head and wonderment as to what exactly Canadiens fans are thinking while taking the vitriol for a hated opponent and instead extending it to the anthem sung before the game.

“I thought when Obama got elected (president) they were going to stop doing that?” joked B’s goalie Tim Thomas in the line of the night.

Hopefully cooler, more thoughtful heads will prevail in Wednesday night’s Game 4 at the Bell Centre, but nobody is banking on it.

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