Sports lore is replete with curses. In baseball, the Curse of the Bambino and the Curse of the Goat come to mind.
In hockey, some think the President's trophy MIGHT be a curse. While this award really hasn't been around long enough to provide sufficient data for that conclusion, smart teams no longer take chances with it. For example, Wings Captain Nic Lidstrom assiduously avoided touching OR EVEN LOOKING AT the award when forced to pose with it prior to the last regular season game. Wings fans believe that proactive approach is sufficient to abate any curse energy this trophy may be trying to generate.
But, leave it to a rookie! There is NO QUESTION that the Av's Cody McLeod has foolishly, and dangerously unleashed the CURSE OF THE OCTOPUS! After the National Anthem was completed, a fan threw the traditional cephalopod onto the Hockeytown ice. Wings fans cheered. But then, McLeod actually skated over and picked it up. He then proceeded to shake it, taunting the Wings faithful before throwing the eight-legged talisman up into the stands.
YOU JUST CAN'T BE THAT DUMB - EVEN IN YOUR GREENEST MOMENT!
If you look up from the ice during a Playoff game in Detroit you can't help but notice the Wings version of Octupus giganticus, Purple Al, hovering over the ice. Our octopus icon is not happy.
First, an edict issued by the NHL, in the form of the Al Sobotka Rule, threatens the Wings Zamboni driver with a $10,000 fine if he should pick up any of his namesake's relatives off the ice and twirl them over his head in ritualistic celebration. Purple Al had to look down from the rafter's during Game 1 of the second round and watch in anger and humiliation while the Linesmen (now mandated to do this task) fumbled with their shovels for 90 seconds scraping up the sacrificial octopus. Purple Al was appeased when Al Sobotka did the ceremonial twirl in the tunnel and was shown on the overhead screen to the fans. But, the Octopus made sure the Avs did not win Game 1.
And now comes this ignominious act by McLeod. It did not go unavenged.
Anyone watching today's game could conclude that the Avs must have felt at many times there were eight Wings skaters on the ice instead of five. And one can imagine that as the game went on they could feel Purple Al's tentacles reaching down to suffocate and choke the life out of them. The Octopus Shall NOT be Mocked!
Oh, and by the way. If the Al Sobotka Rule mandates that picking up octopi is now a job for the Linesmen, what fine should McLeod receive for the unsportsmanlike pickup, twirl and toss that is now verboten?
Not a big deal you say? Well, there is always the Rulebook, when in doubt.
Rule 23.7 Other Infractions That Could Result in a Game Misconduct -
...in addition the following list of infractions can also result in a game misconduct penalty being assessed:
(i) interfering with or striking a spectator...
Any player, goalkeeper, or non-playing club personnel who physically interferes with spectators, becomes involved in an altercation with a spectator, or throws any object at a spectator (emphasis added), shall automatically incur a game misconduct penalty and the Referee shall report all such infractions to the Commissioner who shall have full power to impose such further penalty as he shall deem appropriate.
Well, we won't be holding our breath waiting for whatever further penalty the home office deems appropriate, since the "automatic" game misconduct penalty wasn't levied.
But, we don't have to worry about that. The Curse of the Octopus has been launched and its Purple Tentacles can reach all the way to Denver. Purple Al can levy his own retribution. And if the Curse is successful, the Avs won't have to concern themselves with flying octopi - because they won't be coming back to Detroit.
Other teams - Fair Warning - The Octopus Shall Not Be Mocked!