NHL Countdown, Montreal

As summer fades, our attention shifts from vacationing, barbequing, and feeling altogether carefree to more serious matters — namely, athletics. After spending your days outdoors you may need some reminders about where to watch Canada’s greatest sport. We know you’re busy with packing up your swim-trunks and patio set, so we put together a list of places to watch the NHL season opener in Montreal.

The Sports Station (La Station des Sports)
While its name may be self-explanatory, The Sports Station offers a lot more than simply a place to watch the game. If you are planning a guys’ night out, there is no better bar: wait staff is attractive and friendly, interior is decorated with wall-to-wall flat screens, and a number of tables even have built-in beer taps. Your draught ends up being a little more expensive this way, but then again, you won’t have to worry about having a full cup for that celebratory cheers. 2051 St Catherine Ouest, 514-931-5999.

Club Social
Acting as a small, independent coffee shop by day, Club Social moonlights as a “locals only” pub. If you want to sit close-quarters with diehard hockey enthusiasts, look no further — acquaint yourself with the regulars and feel immediately at home. Arrive early, as this place has limited capacity and is arguably the most popular spot in the neighborhood for watching the game. 180 St Viateur Ouest, 514-495-0114.

La cage aux sports
Located within the Bell Centre, La Cage Aux Sports is the closest thing to sitting in the stands without breaking the bank. Multi-leveled and equipped with more than seventy televisions, this venue aims to deliver as close an experience as possible to the real thing. Surround yourself with literally hundreds of hockey fans all as eager as you to see the first goal of the season. Visit any Thursday before the Sept. 22 to make the best of the $0.35/wing special. 1212 Canadiens de Montreal, 514-925-2255.

A bit of an unconventional pick, Brutopia admittedly does not fit the description of a sports bar. Still, we understand that sometimes the crowd hockey draws is a bit rowdy — dare we say riotous — so, if you’re looking for a quieter place to watch the game, this may be the pub for you. With unbeatable roast beef sandwiches and some of the best in-house draughts in the city, you’ll feel both pampered and patriotic at once. 1219 Crescent, 514-393-9277.

Factory Bar
If the game is just the start of your evening, you may want to stay close to the Main. Factory Bar covers all the bases in the best ways possible: massive burgers, HDTVs throughout, and a lively atmosphere true to the spirit of Montreal. If you feel like sticking around after the last period, Factory has a number of talented resident DJs as well as a stylish clientele. Be sure to come early as, season opener or not, Factory fills up almost any night of the week. 3435 St Laurent, 514-507-5660.


Image courtesy of Stephen Desroches.

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