One factor which has to be taken into account is the high cost for tickets for an exhibition game in which nobody knew which players the Canadiens would dress certainly played a factor. If I'm a casual fan counting my dollars, maybe hearing that P.K. and Alex Galchenyuk will be in the lineup convinces me to attend, and sure enough there was a bit of walkup ticket sales.
One point the RDS crew made is that the Québec fans may be a little sour about the Coyotes staying in Phoenix. They hoped and dreamed and began to take it for granted that they would not get a deal in Glendale, and when that was resolved it popped the balloon a little bit.
Another point made is that the fans have nothing to prove, they traveled to New Jersey and Uniondale by the busload to make their case, and the arena is being built right now. That's the real proof of the pudding.