After a year without playoff hockey, Montreal readies for post-season run

After a year without playoff hockey, Montreal readies for post-season run

The day has come, Habs fans – the Montreal Canadiens' quest for the club's elusive 25th Stanley Cup begins tonight.

The New York Rangers are in town and the Habs are ready to avenge their 2014 Conference Final loss, when they went down in six games.

Playoff hockey has a way of transforming the city, both figuratively and literally.

Trudeau airport is playing along, letting everyone who flies into the city know exactly where our allegiances lie.

And fans, of course, are ready to celebrate. If you're in the market for a new goal celebration dance, look no further.

Game 1 goes tonight at the Bell Centre, a barn known for its impressive decibel level for regular season games. But during the playoffs, fans take it to another level. And the Rangers know that.

The Canadiens, an organization known for its commitment to pageantry, are preparing a big to-do ahead of the series opener, including the return of the Fan Jam outside the arena and what will surely be an impressive pre-game show inside.

On the ice, Max Pacioretty was injured during practice yesterday, but coach Claude Julien said he is "optimistic" the captain will be fine to suit up.

The game starts at 7 p.m. instead of the usual 7:30 p.m. puck drop for weekday Habs games, so don't make a mistake and tune in or arrive 30 minutes late.

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If you do, you might miss Ginette Reno, who will once again sing the pre-game anthems.

No word yet if Youppi! and late night television host Jimmy Fallon will be placing another wager on the outcome of the series.

The Habs' mascot was forced to bite the bullet and wear a Rangers jersey around town three years ago after losing the bet.

If all goes well, Youppi! will be sending Fallon a Habs jersey to wear around New York this year.

Many of you out there who took our (very informal) poll are confident the Canadiens will be moving on to round two.