Boston Pizza ran this ad today in Montreal newspapers.

But you can go to Montreal Pizza!

That’s right, the Canadian-based restaurant has changed its name throughout its 26 locations around Montreal, an identity switch that will remain in place throughout the entire first round playoff series between the Bruins and Habs. Or at least that’s what I interpreted based on a rough translation of the La Presse story linked above, and my grade nine French skills (I really only remember how to ask permission to go to the washroom).

Depending on where you live, and your view of Canada’s hockey obsession, this either instinctively makes your face hit your palm, or it’s a genius marketing move. We’ll go with the latter, mostly because no matter what the legion of Habs haters think, Boston Montreal Pizza’s mission is to make a profit selling their food to locals, and in this case the locals are the Habs-crazy people of Montreal. Even if the Canadiens are ousted quickly, this buys at least a week of recognition for a fun marketing gimmick.

This isn’t the first time some of the Montreal merchants and restaurant owners have catered to the rabid Habs passion in the city at playoff time. Last spring after the Habs upset Washington and were preparing to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, a restaurant placed Crosby’s jersey outside of its entrance so gleeful patrons could stomp on it.

Yep, Crosby thought that Olympic gold medal he sealed for the country just a few months earlier would trump anything. Not in Montreal, Sid, and definitely not during the playoffs.