As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

FRENCH CONNECTION: NHL playoff season is here

I began watching hockey games regularly in the late 1960s when we lived at Bridge Lake

I’m not watching the NHL playoffs on TV this year, not from lack of interest, but it’s no fun watching by myself. Hockey games are best watched with others, even one will do. They don’t have to support your team.

I began watching hockey games regularly in the late 1960s when we lived at Bridge Lake. TV reception had just arrived in the community and most residents watched the hockey games. Everyone had a favourite team and took the game seriously. There were heated discussions during playoffs as everyone thought their team should win the Stanley Cup. I was the only Montreal Canadiens fan in the bunch.

The fourth game of the 1969 finals, Montreal vs St. Louis Blues, was a nail biter. Montreal won the first three games and just needed the fourth to clinch the Cup. Some friends who were on the highways crew with my husband were among the many who disliked Montreal. On game day, my pre-school son and I decided to get support for our team. We made bumper stickers saying “Vive La Canadiens.” We lived at the highways yard, and while the crew was out, we stuck stickers on the anti-Montreal hockey men’s vehicles. If the vehicle was parked head-in, the sticker went on the front bumper, on the back if they’d backed in.

The Canadiens won. When I thanked the guys for supporting my team, all I got was sour looks. It seems when a couple of them stopped at the store on the way home, the stickers were noticed and they were given a hard time. No friendships were shattered over the stickers, but the die-hard anti-Canadiens never really forgave me.

We moved to Williams Lake the next year where we remained involved in hockey. The Canadiens are still my team.

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ColumnistWilliams Lake