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Vancouver, BC • Canada • 50 Years Old • Female

Knock Three Times

Posted 12:16 PM ET | Comments 2
As the Canucks wake up in Texas, getting ready for Game 3, I'm sure there's a few itchy chins in the Dallas area. Nobody's really sure how the playoff beard tradition got started, although Wikipedia suggests it may have began with the New York Islanders.

Hockey players and fans are a superstitious lot. Personally, I'm fascinated by hockey ritual and have a few of my own. I play right defense for a women's rec league team and for the past three years have had an Ed Jovanovski collector coin in the right skate compartment of my hockey bag. I wear a bandana under my helmet, and have a collection, all of which either have skulls or Canadian flag patterns. I have a silver pendant that I never take off which is two crossed hockey sticks surrounding my jersey number. I wear the same tattered shirt under my gear every game, it's black and has my team logo embroidered over the heart. However, I just can't get into the never washing it thing. I use white tape on my stick blade, under the probably false belief that it allows me to see the puck better. On the top I use tape I found printed with the Hockey Canada logo.

From what I've heard, any rituals or superstitions the NHL players have become amplified during the playoffs. Here are some notable odd behaviours I have read about over the years:

Wayne Gretzky
Never cut his hair on the road.

During the warm-up, always shot his first puck way off to the right of the goal, then went back to the dressing room drank a Diet Coke, a glass of iced water, a Gatorade, and another Diet Coke.

Chris Chelios
Always is the last one dressed before a game.

Patrick Roy
"Between periods, I juggle with a puck and bounce it on the ground. Then I put it in a special place where no one will find it and make off with it, otherwise... so the legend goes, bad luck could befall the culprit and he would suddenly turn into an alligator."

Martin Brodeur
Waits until exactly thirty eight minutes before game time to pull on his elbow pads and tapping the ice on either side of his crease four times each.

Then, of course, there's the overall superstition that one must not touch the Stanley Cup before winning it, and the words "shut out" should never be spoken when the score is 0 against your team.

I'd like to add to my collection of hockey superstitions. If you have a minute, post yours (either as a player or a fan) in the comments section of my blog.

CG
April 15, 2007
Filed Under:   playoffs   nhl  
April 16, 2007 10:08 AM ET | Delete
I too follow the hockey beard tradition. Shave befor the first day of the playoffs and then don't shave till the end result of the New York Rangers.Now when I played a had a few that I would deal with. Befor every game I would have to put new tape on my stick blade. And after the tape was layed down I would rub it with the same puck(my first goal in the first ice league I played in). Befor I would leave the house I always drank 2 cups of water. And more recently 20 minutes befor we were aloud on the ice (my league was 10 mins befor the puck was dropped) I would drink a red bull.Also for some reason I would never let my stick touch the ice until I have done over to the bench and put my rag down(I wore a glass face make, and now I wear a half shield) and then skate over to our goal crease and tap each post with my blade... I guess I'm just strange....
April 16, 2007 10:29 AM ET | Delete
Thanks Zero. And that's not strange for hockey. That's normal. :)
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