“Come again?” Carey Price, star goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, said after yesterday’s skate around when informed that – due to Quebec’s new face-covering ban – he and all visiting goalies will henceforward have to reveal their faces prior to each puck drop, when playing at home.
“That’s. What? Are you serious?” A tight-lipped man from Quebec’s newly formed Ministry of Fear Itself (Ministère de la Peur Lui-Même) nodded perfunctorily to Price, before reading the law, in its entirety, in French, very, very quickly.
“No. No! No confirmé,” said Price, a native of the West Coast, and thus naturally sensitive to intolerance disguised as bureaucracy. “I have my name written right on the back of my jersey for god’s sake. This is nuts.”
With Quebec’s sweeping ban on face-coverings (while receiving or administering public services, including le hockey) having passed late last week, many are wondering just where this overly salted pretzel of intolerance ends.
“Where does this salty pretzel of intolerance end?” Asked visiting goalie, James Reimer of the Florida Panthers, when told to keep his driver’s license and health card on him at all times during tonight’s game at the Bell Centre. “Cause let’s call it what it is. I’ve heard the arguments, and you know what? They suck worse than the Canadiens do right now. That’s right: worst start to Quebec’s parliament in 76 years. This isn’t a law, it’s public theatre at the expense of a small minority, put on to buy votes with the political currency de rigueur: fear.”
Many in Montreal would seem to agree.
“C’est stupide,” said one man wearing a bleue, blanc, and rouge scarf.
“It’s stupid,” said another guy, helpfully translating for an out-of-town-reporter.
But not all were convinced this was a meritless hunt for ill-will where none exists.
“Ah, but how do we know this is really Carey Price in the game?” Asked a man with a heavy beard and sunglasses who refused to give his name and really could have been anyone. “I have a Price jersey. How do you know it isn’t me back there dropping into the splits to make a glove save from behind a screen? No, I think it’s a good thing. This guy comes here to play hockey, he should adapt to our ways that we just made up. Y’know, it’s called a face-off for a reason.”