Tonight’s exhilarating win in Montreal was marred by some nonsense. A small, but vocal segment of the Canadiens fan base took it upon themselves to boo the Star-Spangled Banner (also here and here). No one asked the booing throng for their finer details of their political ideology, but it’s safe to say that a seed of anti-American sentiment blossoms in Montreal.

Regardless of the outcome on Wednesday night, this quarterfinal playoff series will soon return to Washington, D.C., and there we will have a choice. Will the Phone Booth return fire, booing “O Canada” from start to finish, or will they take the high road?

I have a feeling the Caps fans in attendance on Friday will do the right thing.  They might even follow the example of the much-loathed Boston Bruins fans, who faced the exact same situation a few years ago.


Seriously stirring stuff.

I’ve seen the Verizon Center applaud the armed forces until their palms stung red. I’ve seen them salute their players even in miserable defeat. I know the caliber of these fans’ character, and I know they’ll do the right thing on Friday.

  • BB03

    Same thing happened during the LA-VAN game. O Canada was boo’d so it goes both ways…

  • As a Canadian (Calgarian) living in D.C.

    I hope the phone booth doesn’t boo the Canadian national anthem. Sure it’s the easy way out to retaliate, but it’s better to show up the small faction of lunatic Canadiens fans.

    It’s probably the same group of fans that showed ‘outrage’ over ex-team captain Saku Koviu not knowing enough french to make half of his speech in French in front of 20,000 people. There’s a faction of fans up there that are ravenously ridiculous.

    I hope the fans of the phone booth just ignore them and send a volley with far more class.

  • I was at Game One last week and the cheers for O Canada touched me, actually. I hope and believe that we will do the same on Friday.

  • Karen

    I’m a Canadian AND a diehard Caps fan, and for what it’s worth, Montreal is not only anti-American, but it’s full of separatists and blatantly anti-Canadian. They represent nothing aboot Canadians. That shit was totally classless, considering the bulk of the Caps are actually Canadians and Europeans. I’m so glad we got the last laugh tonight. Fuck the Habs!

  • Peter


    You lost me so hard at “aboot.” Can’t read the rest of your message through tears of laughter.


  • MrT

    karen: Im French Canadian, im from the province of Quebec, I love Canada and I love the United States of America. I agree though.. there are some tards around here.. but true and proud Canadians love the USA. Canada-USA = Children of a common mother.

  • Yuk

    I hope that phone booth would be the same as it was during the first two games cheering both anthems. If someone will start booing it would be good to tell those idiots that 16( sixteen!!) Caps players on the current roster are Canadians plus coach BB also and they also proud to hear their anthem. I’m sure that if OV, Semin and Varly will hear Russian anthem they will play after with double energy and opposite. The high sport becoming truly international, w/o borders and booing is nothing to do with it, especially in big capital like DC. If media will spark massive booing which I don’t believe will happen, then on Caps place I’ll make couple minute pause before starting the play.

  • I think the people who did that need to get their asses out of their heads and start respecting other countries and nations. Not saying all Canadians are like this but those who have booed another county’s national anthem really needs a slap in the face [also some various things that I might (cough-not-cough) regret saying].

    Even if I totally dislike things never would I do that. This is one of the reasons I get pissed off. Haha.

    So, screw you anthem-booers! The world doesn’t like you!

    And LET’S GO CAPS.

  • ps, I bet if a bunch of people in VC booed the Canadian National anthem, everyone would be all butthurt. [See: 2010 WJC]

  • Bill

    During the Salute the Troops segment I saw non-American Canadien players tapping their sticks on the ice. That was pretty cool.

  • Rick

    Didn’t this happen with Habs/Bruins a while back. When the teams came back to Boston the fans there stood and cheered during O’Canada. (Thats got an Irish touch for the Beantown crowd, there….)
    I think that is a great way to respond.

  • Sec. 105

    Games 1 & 2 we gave the Canadian Anthem great respect, many sang it, and everyone cheered. We’ll do that in Game 5 too.

  • Chooch

    Welcome to the NHL, Caps fans. I know the Capitals have only been in the league for 3 or 4 years now, having moved to DC when Ovechkin was drafted, and you diehard Caps fans are not quite used to following the Capitals for an entire season and post-season. But this has been going on for years. The Montreal Canadien fans always boo the American national anthem before playoff games, and sometimes in the regular season. Get used to it. Maybe the Montreal fans can become classy like the Caps fans and throw beer bottles at opposing players after the Caps lose in the playoffs. Just like Caps fans did to Jeff Carter after the Flyers eliminated them 2 years ago.

  • JWJr

    Don’t do it, Caps fans. Don’t sink to their level. -JW

  • OvechWin

    Chooch = still butthurt about the loss. Hope you got the clubs ready, almost links time for the Hab-nots

  • Darren

    My impression of Canadians from this great game of hockey is that they hate anyone non-Canadian. American, European, Asian, everyone. They are a country full of jingoist hate. They boo national anthems. They heckle olympic athletes. Hell, they CHEER when an olympic athlete DIES in Vancouver. Terribly racist country… terrible.

    I can’t in good conscious boo, but I certainly won’t cheer. Sorry Canadian Caps fans… your countrymen are racist bigots.

  • Nathan Minarik

    I can’t remember where I heard this from but it really sums up Canada perfectly: Canada is the loft above a really awesome party.

  • Trailblaza05

    Pretty bad Coouch you have to come to a Caps site and make ridicuolous statements on how you support the classless Canadian fans. Looks like another classless Canadian has nothing better to do with his life then try to rile us up after the you and the Caps made your team look ridiculous in front of your country.

  • The Horn Guy

    You can’t judge an entire country based on a small segment’s antics. That would be like accepting that all Americans are trashy, ignorant, redneck swine based on some observations you had at a WalMart.

    Some Habs fans are classless douchenozzles. So what? That doesn’t mean we should return the favor. Sing loud and proud for both anthems. There are enough Canadians on the Caps who would appreciate that much more than booing their anthem.

    Now if we could just get Caps fans to stop ruining our OWN anthem . . . (sigh)

  • rockcreek

    Best response: live well. Be polite, Phone Booth; your team will reward you by promptly putting the other one on their poutine-holders.

    Personally, looking at yesterday’s outcome makes me think order has finally been restored to the Hockeyverse and the series won’t make it back here for Game 5. Here’s hoping!

    GO CAPS!!!

  • The Horn Guy

    rockcreek, there has to be a game 5. Unless you think the Habs will forfeit the series after tomorrow?

  • rockcreek

    The other thing is not to judge cities by their sports fans. Montreal is a wonderful, vibrant, beautiful city – particularly in the summer. (Winter tends to be a different story.) It’s totally worth visiting.

    Think of it this way: I’ve been here all my life, and it’s home and I love it, but I would never, EVER think of bringing my children to a tailgate in Landover. Know what I mean?

  • Sophie

    I can tell you they not try to boo the American anthem, they are just too “stupid” to make the difference between the team (Caps are from USA) and the country. They think if they boo the national anthem of the other team, they boo the team but it’s not working in that way. Please don’t fall in racism too, but with that kind of words you are not helping: “Montreal is not only anti-American, but it’s full of separatists and blatantly anti-Canadian. They represent nothing aboot Canadians.” I am from Quebec and that it’s not the best way to response to them, you just do the same thing. I am a Caps fan and for responding just winning will make the work done!

  • Sickle

    No actually, why woudn’t you bring your kids to a tailgate in Landover? Because the Redskins suck?

  • Rhino40

    Postgame thoughts:

    –The Habs’ fan base showed an ugly side of Canada that–before the Olympics–I had not known existed. This, by actually booing the US National Anthem. Those who have read my previous posts on the subject on CI may know: While I sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” proudly, I also believe that “O Canada” serves that purpose better–if only by virtue of the fact that it was written as such from the beginning, rather than being a British drinking song with new lyrics.

    That said, It was a no-class move on the part of the Bell Centre crowd and a disgrace to what is arguably the NHL’s most storied franchise.

    I propose that, when the series returns to Washington, we show OUR class by standing respectfully when “O Canada” is sung, either remaining silent or–if we know the words–singing along. THAT’LL show ’em!!.

    –I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Habs are the NHL equivalent of the New York Yankees. I loved how the Caps silenced the building, then got the crowd to actually turn against “Les Glorieux

    –It was only a matter of time before the greater mass of the Caps’ lines began to tell on the smaller Habs.

    –This game (IMO) did perhaps more than any other (in the series so far) to prove the old adage: “Go to the net and good things will happen”

    –I am pleased that Varly did so well. That said, I hope Theo gets another chance to shine. I know he has it in him.

    –Also proved last night: Ovechkin’s Law (“To solve any hockey problem, score more goals”) is a universal constant.

    Well done, gentlemen. Now rest up and put another nail in their coffins tomorrow night!

    GO CAPS!!!

  • Peter

    @Rhino: Ovechkin’s law! Brilliant!

  • Joe

    Huh? I’m a hard core Caps fans but I’m constantly embarrassed by the “O” nonsense and the “red” scream during the National Anthem at Verizon. I mean, the Verizon crowd has a bunch of uncouth idiots that the announcer has to ask that people be respectful during the National Anthem. And you think these rednecks are going to do the “right” thing? Don’t post when you are on the sauce.

  • CapsDude

    I think it’s ridiculous that we sing national anthems at sporting events anyway. We’re at an entertainment event, it’s not really an appropriate place for it. We don’t sing it at movies or plays or stand up routines, why sporting events? I don’t like forced patriotism anyway.

  • FedFed

    I’m agreed with you, CapsDude. Never understood this thing.

  • James

    Joe and Caps Dude,

    You all need to chill. It’s about us being proud of where we are from, being excited about the game, getting all pumped and wild. You don’t sing at movies cause you are suppose to stay quiet….universal rule…DUH! Sporting events, they want you up and loud and proud. Get into the game man!

    When you down right boo a symbol that represents the country and what we were borne from that shows a lot of disrespect. Personally, I think its awesome when people are proud to go with our National Anthem. If they sign it, then man thats is a hell of a compliment that they really like and respect us.

  • Rhino40


    Thanks! 🙂

  • DKVA

    Rhino – the tune for the Star Spangled Banner is actually a French dance tune, played very up tempo. No doubt the British turned it into a drinking son though.

  • Rhino40

    @DVKA–good one! LMAO

  • Tim

    @Karen – fwiw, a sizeable contingent of our top Caps d-men are actually American boys, starting with the stellar Mr. Carlson, along with Poti, and Corvo. Just Steckel upfront I think [although Knuble played HS hockey in MI], but could be more soon with the continued outstanding success of USA Hockey [winning the WJC – btw, talk about class, all those Saskatoon fans staying to applaud both teams, terrific stuff]. To along with of course, our outstanding players from Russia, Sweden, Sloviak, Czech, and of course Canada!

  • x

    You’re idiots if you paint all Habs fans with the same brush. Yes, there were bigots in attendance last night, but the majority of us chose to respect BOTH anthems by singing along or drowning out the boos.

  • I was at last night’s game and I have to say that it isn’t about national anthems or patriotism, it’s simply about HOCKEY. Booing the national anthem is simply booing the horse the opposing team rides in on. Now, when Toronto comes to town (which they’ll never do in the playoffs *Snicker*) we obviously don’t boo the anthem, but it all boils down to THE GAME. It’s simple as that. Besides, if you’re wondering why people boo the American anthem, then maybe you should think a little harder.

  • rockcreek

    @horn: of course. Time to hit the “duh” button.

  • rockcreek

    @Sickle: um … well, sure, that’s part of it! 🙂

    Although now that you mention it, the product outside the field sure is more compelling than the one ON it.

  • simple idea: we’re Americans. We know the song. How about singing it instead of just listening? If the whole stadium sang along to the American National Anthem, I feel that would be a far more emotional and proud statement. Especially in our nation’s capital. The Habs would really know where they were then. Caps territory.

    GO CAPS!

  • Kardinal

    (Native Washingtonian, Caps fan since ’92, the American national anthem is one of my favorite songs…as is the Canadian.)

    Personally, I always sing “O Canada” when I’m at VC and there’s a Canadian team playing. I don’t salute the flag with my hand over my heart, but I love that song and I love our Canadian brethren.

    I encourage my fellow Caps fans to show our respect and support for our Canadian brothers and sisters by singing the song loud and proud when the series comes back. “This is American respect.”

  • alex

    is that all? I was going to boo them anyway.

    this is the US, since when have we been known for our class?

  • Barberpoles

    Capitals fans, you have to realize that these bafoons in Montreal are mostly french and people living in Quebec for the most part have quite a few less brains cells then the average person. I am Canadian and live in Ontario where we speak English and are considered patriot and loyal to our country. We have respect and don’t boo other peoples National Anthems. Case in point, yesterdays Ottawa Senator crowd cheered the US anthem at its conclusion. Sens fans have alot more respect for other nations and in the past have applauded the US anthem. I am sure that in Toronto (if the Leafs by some miracle ever made the playoffs) they’d be respectful too. I don’t blame you for being upset. I would be too but these idiot fans are not indicative of the rest of Canada (read the overwheming majority = English Canadians). Hell even in Edmonton a few years back in the playoffs, the entire crowd sung aloud the Star Spangled Banner after San Jose had booed the Canadian the night before. This goes back several years. Philadelphia fans are classless in my books because they are no better than those idiot Montreal fans because they too boo our Anthem as well. Both New York and New Jersey have as well. It’s up to us as fans to put an end to this nonsense and wise up! Show some respect and stand at attention! I guaranteed that if you all tune into the Senators/Pittsburgh game tomorrow night, the Ottawa fans will cheer the US Anthem! Unfortunaltey the Montreal fans will continue to be morons and I dispise them for that. So go Caps beat out Montreal and hopefully you’ll meet my Sens in the Eastern Finals!!

  • Karen

    Amen, Barberpoles.

    Sorry to all the sane Quebecers I offended. You’re few and far between, so forgive me.

    Tom, I certainly didn’t mean to diminish those New England kids on D! There are 16 Canadians on the roster right now and like 4 Americans – I just thought it was retarded the crowd thought they were cutting deep by booing the national anthem of four guys who ended up having buttsecks with their sad Montreal asses in front of their own crowd anyway.

    Whatevs. We’re all Caps here, friends. Our God is Russian.

  • @Darren Wow. Nice story, bro.

    I’d love to live in the fantasy world you live in where “Canadians cheered the death of the Luger” That’s a pretty offensive and totally unfounded statement to make. Especially when you consider all the changes that were made during the olympic ceremony (and are still continuing – to honor Nodar Kumaritashvili’s life.

    You might want to go to down to the nearest port and take the next boat off of “fantasy island” to the shores of reality.

    Besides that, Caps fans rock. Great fans here in DC and it seems like there is an overwhelming amount of class within your ranks.

  • pjd5264

    @ CapsDude: “we” sing? No one’s forcing you. “Forced patriotism?” One with an iq above Ovi’s # would realize patriotism can’t be forced. Obviously, there’s a lot you don’t understand including having pride in one’s nation AND showing it. Moreover, a true American embraces diversity and respects others for what they are and value. As a season ticket holder and vet I’m proud to stand and sing. If our (or more correctly, the U.S.) national anthem irritates you so badly do yourself a favor: come late; or do us all a favor – let someone that’s proud to be an American attend.

  • Rhino40


    Our God is Russian.

    Yes, and we call Him…

    The Red Jesus!

  • Darren

    @ctoverdrive – Of course I can’t find the link now, too much time as passed or I can’t remember the correct phrase, but I’m not making that up about Canadians cheering the death of the Olympian. If I did I’d post it, but I can’t find it… believe the story or not, doesn’t matter to me… brah.

    @Kardinal – “I encourage my fellow Caps fans to show our respect and support for our Canadian brothers and sisters by singing the song loud and proud when the series comes back. “This is American respect.”” –

    This I fully support. I would be so proud if we, as Caps fans, could take the higher road and show the jingoist/racist Canadians what real Americans are like.

  • FedFed

    @pjd5264 TOTALLY disagreed.
    Modern club sport has nothing with borders and politics.
    I think I can to decide, what i want to listen: anthem or rock (Muse or Evanescence).
    Anthem’s the reason I always late to the basketball games.
    I just don’t understand, how I can be proud for cointry. Country isn’t the person. I think “mine is the best” mentality isn’t very good.

  • Great minds think alike, I guess–I hammered out a similar rant last night, and I know Peerless has one up, as well. This one struck a nerve, and for good reason.

    Forget national pride for a second–what got me wasn’t that this was anti-American, but that it was just plain old gauche and unsportsmanlike. Even if you totally discount the patriotic sentiments–which, as a veteran, I don’t–you have to shake your head and take offense at such a low-minded display of boorishness. There’s a time to boo the opposition, but, memo to Habs fans, the anthems ain’t it. Can you at least acknowledge that our countries are amiable neighbors for a minute or two? Is that too much?

    Caps fans, let’s turn the other cheek: Friday night, let’s do an “O Canada” that would make Canada proud. Look up the lyrics, find a MIDI of it, practice it, and let’s show the world that we’re the good guys.

  • Cathy W

    Montreal fans booing the US anthem is not a new event. If they act that way so be it, but why stoop to that level. I hope Caps fans take the high road and either sing it or at least clap after the Canadian anthem. Do you really want to boo after Bob or Caleb sings it? Many of the Capitals players were born in Canada. If nothing else, have respect for the Canadians on the Capitals and don’t boo their country’s anthem.

  • BobbyG

    I would hope that Caps fans resist the urge to retaliate by booing the Canadian national anthem. Two wrongs don’t make right, and stooping to the level of the rude obnoxious minority Canadians who booed our national anthem is not the answer. The best response is to rise above the fray and give a respectful but muted applause when “O Canada” is rendered to show the majority of Canadians who wouldn’t engage in such behavior that we’re good neighbors in our nation’s capital.

  • Barberpoles

    Side note; as expected, Ottawa fans gave the US Anthem a well deserved cheer tonight at the Pittsburgh game. Too bad we lost 🙁

  • Red Storm

    Caps fans, please do not stoop to that level! Do what the fans in Boston did. Better yet, learn the words to “Oh Canada” and sing it to them.

  • CapsDude


    What if I’m not an American but I do live in America? I love Caps hockey. But if I sit during the anthem, or stand without singing, or otherwise not participate, I get mean comments from the people around me. That’s what I mean by forced patriotism.

  • rast

    I’m an American who was born in America and lived here my entire life, and I don’t stand for the government anthem.

    Interestingly, I don’t mind the Canadian anthem — the Canadians have never tried to take my freedoms.

  • Graham

    Keep it classy, phone booth! Cheer the hell out of Canada’s anthem!!

  • Red Army Soldier #1337

    I’m hoping that Leonsis tells the men who work the rink screens (the ones that wrap around the sides of the Phone Booth) to set up the words for O Canada.

    Cause we’re classy like that.

  • Comunista Sympatico

    Although I agree that we should take the high road (as Uncle Ted suggests), there are fans in our fanbase who feel that they need to practice more individualism than collectivism. They feel that their actions and their feelings are more important than the group. If it were up to me, I would escort these dissenters out of the building, but I’m more radical than others. All I’m saying is that people should think more about the greater good than themselves.

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  • Ricky Canuck

    I’m glad to see the class Caps fans exhibited with regards to my anthem. I apologize on behalf of the majority of Canadians who were disgusted by the dispespect shown our neighbour and ally. We definitely don’t always agree, but we are still the best neighbours on the planet! Go Habs:)

  • Trev Larock

    Disrespectful show from the hopefully minority of Montreal fans, this CDN is embarrassed to be associated with them. The ¨loud obnoxious American¨ is somewhat of a tired cliché, look in the mirror before you do and say such stupid things Montreal. Same guys booing will be wearing a thong with a beer gut hanging out on the beaches of Florida. Booooo to that.

  • Cavan1

    Hello all first off on be half of Canadians In  Toronto Ontario not that other province that gives Canada a Black eye for very ignorant comments .Im a Canadian and my fav. team is the Leafs. my most hated team is Montreal for many reasons….But right now i hope either caps  or  Pens  win the cup two of the best players are there. I was touched tonight to hear the roar of the crowd in DC ( which ive visited many times) to the Canadian singing of  Oh Canada. Thank you  that is Class no matter how you look at it. As far as those ignorant so and so s in the Province of QC. MTL. they do not stand for Canada im imbrassed  as too how they disrespect  your singing of American Anthem .  Forgive them by kicking there @%% Slap them silly OV!!!

  • Linda

    To all Caps fans, did anyone know there is 16, sixteen, 16 Canadians on the Washington Capitals. Just some stats for our American anti-Canadians fans.