It’s a loud and busy time at Canadian sports bars.
After all seven Canadian NHL teams missed the playoffs in 2016, five are in for 2017.
In both Saskatoon and Regina, restaurants have already noticed a spike in business.
In Saskatoon, Sports on Tap has been jammed full of fans.
“It’s packed and the energy is crazy,” assistant manager Kelsey Stabler said. He noted that Toronto and Edmonton fans have dominated their tables.
“Leafs fans are getting the ‘Go Leafs Go’ chants going, it’s really fun.”
Regina’s Lancaster Pub has been packed every night with a rainbow of hockey fans coming in the doors. The Regina Pats WHL playoff run is adding to the fun.
“We are showing Regina Pats games which have been getting lots of buzz,” co-owner Tim Rogers said. “It’s so much busier, which is a huge help.”
For those wanting to get closer to the action, the excitement is ramping up in Alberta. The Edmonton Oilers are making their first playoff appearance in 11 years.
Located on 101st Street NW, just a few blocks from the Oilers’ rink at Rogers Place, the Rose and Crown pub has become a hub for playoff hockey fans.
“On game days we’ve been getting lineups out the door,” supervisor Jacqueline Snider said.
“Oilers fans are the greatest hockey fans in Canada, so I’m not surprised,” she added.
In Calgary, 17th Avenue has been knows as The Red Mile since the Flames made it to the Stanley Cup final back in 2004.
The popular strip has seen a spark again with the Flames taking on the Anaheim Ducks in the first round.
Ernie Tsu, owner of Calgary’s Trolley 5 restaurant, said the team’s success this season has been a blessing.
“The Flames back in the playoffs has been a boost for everybody.”
He said he’s looking forward to the crowds when the Flames play a pair of home games against the Ducks this week.
“For the first Flames playoff home game on Monday night, we expect to see 30,000 people on the Mile.”