Hockey is perhaps the most superstitious sport of them all. When a player has a good game, they quite often attribute their performance to something they did, ate, or wore earlier on in the day. It’s not rational, but it’s a time-honoured tradition. Over the years, superstitions have ranged from the slightly peculiar to the downright weird. Here are ten of the strangest hockey superstitions ever.
1. Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner has been known to tap his stick 88 times during the national anthem and trace the outline of the Canadian maple leaf in time with the music.
2. Patrick Roy is one of the greatest goalies of all time. He was also one of the most superstitious players over the course of his career. He would have long talks with his goal posts. He would also carefully lay out every piece of his equipment on the floor of the locker room before putting them on in a specific order. Also, during intermissions he would juggle a puck and bounce it off the ground. Those are just three of his many weird superstitions.
3. As a joke, the San Jose Sharks once changed former defenseman Kyle McLaren’s visor to a yellow-coloured one. Since he was colour-blind, he had no way of knowing. That game, he scored the winning goal and he decided to keep the yellow-tinted visor for good luck for the majority of his career.
4. The great one, Wayne Gretzky, would never cut his hair before a game. He did once, and his team lost that night.
5. Ever since the 2002 Olympics when Team Canada won hockey gold, it’s become a common good luck tradition in Canada to bury a Loonie under the ice before a big game.
6. Former player and current General Manager of the Dallas Stars, Joe Nieuwendyk, always ate two pieces of toast with peanut butter before every single game.
7. It’s a serious belief that touching the Conference Final Trophy cause your team to lose their chance at winning it. For instance, the last time the Kings won the West, they touched it and lost! So hands off!
8. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins allegedly has a laundry list of superstitions. Here are three of them. First, he won’t call his mother on a game day because in the past he did and wound up with broken teeth and other injuries. Second, after he tapes his sticks for a game, no one else can touch them or pretend to touch them. If that happens, he will re-tape the sticks. Third, if the team ever travels on a bus, Crosby lifts his feet off the ground whenever they go over a railroad track
9. The New York Islanders are often credited for starting the playoff beard superstition during their run for the Stanley Cup in the early 1980s. They won four cups in four years! Now that’s some lucky facial hair!
10. They say that former Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ray Bourque used to change his skate laces during every intermission and would throw away the used laces. He played nearly 2,000 games in the league, which means he went through close to 11,000 sets of laces.
Do you have any hockey superstitions? Tell us what they are in the comments!