The first time I’d ever seen a superstition was during the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Oilers’ had just won the Western Conference Championship. The Oilers’ refused to touch the Clarence S. Campbell trophy, I later found out that in the Eastern Conference touching the trophy isn’t a worry. That simple act led to intrigue in my mind – hockey players and their superstitions.
Over the years, I’ve found a few different instances of superstition within the hockey world. The first example, the playoff beard, and that some girls don’t shave their legs during the playoffs either. It’s rumored that Penguins’ Sidney Crosby still has some of his equipment from Junior and refuses to get new stuff. Like many players in the league, Oilers’ Nail Yakupov re-tapes every stick before a game. While those are a few specific examples, many players have other superstitions such as making the sign of the cross before stepping on the ice, putting equipment on a certain way and doing a certain routine before a game.
Have you ever noticed patterns in players facial hair growth? Some players think that helps them with the streak they have going. That’s just some of the more popular superstitions among players. There’s always a certain way the players come on to the ice, usually starting goalie first and the captain and vets towards the back. Some players listen to music, while some don’t.
Some players will walk into the arena and go to the locker room, following a certain route depending on their opponent that night. Lets the not forget the ever popular “pre-game Crosby”.
As we all know goalies are a breed of their own, I find goalies the most interesting. I’m sure we all know the famous story of Glenn Hall and his pre-game ritual. I’ve seen goalies talking to goal posts and hitting them. I’ve seen goalies that like to be in the net before the game and during the national anthem. That’s pretty much the more popular goalie-specific superstitions I’ve heard of and seen.
But superstitions aren’t only for the players, I as a fan have my own “superstitions” which range from the more popular not wearing a team shirt on game day, to the more crazy pre-game watching routine. Every time I’ve arrived late for a game the team has lost and that’s no lie. Anyway as you can see hockey players are a little quirky but that’s part what makes us love them and the game.
It’s almost time for our favorite time of year and to see these superstitions in action. If there’s any that I have missed or if you have your own leave a comment below!