Beyond the natural hockey rivalry that predates anyone who isn't reading this with a monocle, there's a lot for Canadiens fans to dislike about the Leafs, and most of it is the stuff of petty resentment. It isn't the Leafs' fault that Quebecers elected a government that chased prosperity down the 401 and turned Toronto into Canada's de facto capital city at Montreal's expense. Nor can we hold the Leafs entirely to account for the TSN/Sportsnet/Hockey Night in Canada love affair with them. At their human core, media personalities are fans like the rest of us, and by nature they cheer for the team in the city where they live.
What happened to Pierre Houde last night, however, is beyond petty. The longtime voice of the Canadiens on RDS and face of sports television in Quebec was turned away from the Air Canada Center press box. In their regular segment on CHOM-FM this morning, Houde told Terry DiMonte that the press box at the ACC is small and there was no room for him, so the Leafs made a reservation for Houde at a nearby restaurant, where he watched the game on television with no sound.
People who know him won't be surprised to learn that for Pierre, it wasn't a big deal. He says the media relations people for the Leafs were very nice and he was grateful to them for making the restaurant reservation. He was also full of praise for the competition at TVA, complimenting them for the job they did in their first broadcast under the NHL's new television rights deal, which was the reason he wasn't calling a Canadiens game for the first time since PK Subban was in short pants.
In 29 arenas around the NHL, Pierre Houde is as close as it gets to visiting royalty. He's Vin Scully with a French accent, and the Leafs couldn't even find a seat for him in the building. For a class act like Pierre, it might be water off a duck's back, but just because he wouldn't say shit if he had a mouthful doesn't make it alright.