MONTREAL — Chicago Blackhawks rookie phenom Connor Bedard made his Hockey Night in Canada debut on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens, and the fans at Bell Centre made sure to make it a memorable one for him.
Every time Bedard touched the puck, the sold-out crowd of 21,105 showered the 2023 first overall pick with boos. It's probably not something he was expecting.
"I loved it," Bedard said. "It was great. I didn't really think about it before the game. But I thought it was awesome."
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Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson knows how passionate Canadiens fans are, having coached there for several years and having played in Montreal as a visiting player. He didn't expect anything less, with it being their home opener.
"Montreal fans are probably the most hockey knowledgeable in the world, so they're just doing it to be the hometown fans to help the hometeam team," Richardson said. "I'm sure they were cheering for him last year on the world junior team. That's part of the game. I'm sure he had fun with it."
Credit to Bedard, who fully embraced the energy. It's a testament to the respect Montreal probably has for him as a Canadian-born kid.
They don't boo nobodies.
"I haven't done anything yet, just starting, but to get that right now is good," Bedard said. "I think that makes the game more fun when the crowd is really into it like that. It was good. I enjoy that stuff."