Habs fans pour their hearts into over-the-top tributes
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Montreal Canadiens fans have never been shy about their passion for their team — and the Habs' Stanley Cup run has only amplified their devotion.
We've gathered together some of the most out-of-the-box expressions of extreme Habs fandom. From bagels to murals to shrines, fans are going all out off the ice as the team puts everything on the line for the cup.
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Rubik's cube mosaics
Now that school's out, Benjamin Russo, 10, is building Rubik's cube mosaics to highlight his favourite team's unexpected ascension. His artwork featured on his instagram account @benjaminrussocubeart went viral when he started posting celebrity portraits made using cubes.
The Brossard boy's latest piece, a 4.6-by-1.8-metre Montreal Canadiens' logo juxtaposed with the Tampa Bay Lightning's, took four hours to complete. Russo was eight years old when he started solving Rubik's cubes, the same year he was diagnosed with severe dyslexia.
As a Habs fan and special education resource teacher, his mother Melanie Brethour says she's happy he's found an artistic outlet that boosts his confidence.
Jigging with joy
At Kirkland's Bernadette Short School of Irish Dance some young students have been dancing to show their support.
They're showing their love for the Montreal Canadiens by dancing to the song Rock the Sweater by Montrealer and Habs fan Annakin Slayd.
Saint-Maurice of HoMa
Residents of Montreal's Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood have resorted to prayer in the hope of securing the championship.
At the corner of Ontario Street and Valois Street stands a wooden structure of "Saint-Maurice," likely named after the Rocket, Maurice Richard.
A message attached to the pedestal reads: "O Saint-Maurice, accept our offerings. Protect our Habs and bring back the cup."
St-Viateur's CH bagels
Before the first game, Saul Restrepo, manager at St-Viateur's flagship bagel shop, said his team made a dozen bagels, shaped like the CH logo ahead of the final series.
But the special designs aren't for sale. Restrepo says they take much time to make.
"We'd have to dedicate an entire oven to making CH bagels," he said. "I feel bad saying 'no' to clients, but we just wanted to show our support for the Habs."
Home is where the Habs are
Nick Peardon, 27, transformed a spare room in his house on Prince Edward Island into a bona fide sanctum for Le Tricolore, where he watches all their games.
"I always make it a point to wear a jersey," he said. "I'm a bit superstitious too... I don't get up until the whistle or a commercial break."
Through online scavenges over the past 15 years, the brothers have amassed everything from Habs knick-knacks to true collectibles, including an original Montreal Forum seat signed by former Habs goaltender Patrick Roy, Peardon's all-time favourite player.
Landmarks get in on the game
A cave of her own
Once Madalena Peixoto's daughter moved out of the family home, she turned her youngest's former bedroom into what she calls a "woman cave."
The space is decked out with Montreal Canadiens merchandise, including replicas of Ken Dryden's goalie masks, Habs teddy bears, several autographed pictures and an NHL scoreboard lampshade.
Fans across the country
Distance means so little when the Habs mean so much to Mosesie Atagoyuk, an Inuit elder from Iqaluit, Nunavut.
Atagoyuk says he can't wait to watch the team that has been his favourite since he was a youngster play the next game in the Stanley Cup final. And he has another hope:
"I don't have a Montreal Canadiens jersey. If my team wins, I want somebody to give me one!" he said.
With files from CBC's IGALAAQ and Northbeat