This past week, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé announced that hockey games in Montreal would allow 3,500 spectators indoors, up from the previous 2,500-person limit. However, that still pales in comparison to the 18,000 spectators filling the stands at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Even though the energy at the Bell Center was palpable, and the Habs clinched the win, the difference in ambiance was noticeable during last night's game — the first home game of the series.
In Vegas, the T-Mobile Arena was full for the first two games of the playoffs.
In Montreal, 15 sections were closed to the public and covered by tarps with advertisements.
No social distancing is required for games in Las Vegas, where the stands were full of Golden Knights fans in earlier games.
But in Montreal, the first few rows of the bleachers were vacant, and seats were sparsely filled due to social distancing requirements.
Masks also aren't required in Vegas but are required indoors in Montreal.
Although the atmosphere in the Bell Centre was less raucous than that of Las Vegas, it didn't stop the Montreal Canadiens from their Game 3 semi-final victory, thanks to Josh Anderson's winning goal in overtime.