The Montreal Canadiens had 2,500 fans in attendance on Saturday for Game 6 of their first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs and following the game players on both sides of the ice expressed their belief that the crowd served to energize the Canadiens on the ice. It was the first time that any team in Canada had fans in attendance during the 2020 - 2021 National Hockey League season but unfortunately thus far there has been no indication that other Canadian teams will get to reap the benefits of having their fans on hand in the playoffs.
On Sunday however the Toronto Maple Leafs got what might be their first glimmer of hope when Toronto Mayor John Tory shared his thoughts on the situation and indicated that, if it were up to him, he would give serious consideration to allowing fans to be on hand for Game 7 of this first round series. That game will of course be held in Toronto and at the time of this writing fans of the Maple Leafs will not be allowed to attend, but the fact that the mayor is pushing for it could potentially influence how soon fans can return to Scotiabank Arena.
"In light of the improved numbers I would take a serious look at doing something inside because you could see from happened in Montreal people were spaced far apart and there were some masks being worn," said Tory when asked about Game 6 in Montreal.
Although Tory indicated that he himself would consider the possibility of it, he did also add that at the end of the day it would not be his decision to make. The provincial government in Ontario has the final say when it comes to these matters and Tory would go on to stress that the lack of dialogue with the Ontario government on this topic makes the possibility of having fans on hand for Game 7 very unlikely.
Tory's main concern here seemed to be the limited amount of time they would have to work out the logistics of having fans on hand for Game 7 should those conversations begin today, but the fact that they are willing to consider it at all has to be viewed as a positive for fans who are dying to see their team live in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.