Playoffs: Very Superstitious

The playoffs are coming up and that means, even more superstitions than during the regular season. Everyone has their own superstitions and they constantly evolve and change, depending on wins and losses.  Even Cap’s players have traditions and habits they repeat before each game.

I am very superstitious, as are many fans, and I have two main superstitions:

I have to play NHL17 before Caps games, but I can’t play the team we are playing.My second one is a very strange one. I was bored and the Caps were going to play the Senators later that night. I jokingly said to my Oshie poster. “Score a goal for me.” Later that night I saw him light up the net with an awesome goal!! That was the only goal scored that night for either team. I now always ask Oshie to win for me.

Anyway enough with my superstitions what about the rest of the fans? I asked the Facebook group Washington Capitals Hockey Fans what their superstitions were and I heard some really funny and awesome superstitions. Fan Jennifer Rubio’s tradition was awesome. She said “I have a group of friends who are Caps fans and we chat in a direct message group on twitter. One day I wanted to use the praying hand’s emoji to indicate my hope for us to win that night. Unfortunately, my eyesight wasn’t so good and I ended up using a nose emoji instead.” Jennifer went on to say, “My friends and I laughed and laughed, but we won that game. So now if it’s before a game we all tweet a bunch of noses at each other for good luck”

Another really cool superstition is the superstition of Kregg Smith and his daughter eight-year-old London. On home games, they go to DC and park a few blocks away from the Verizon Center. They then walk to the Us Navy Memorial Plaza and walk across all the contents, When they’re done walking across the continents, they jump on the city where the opposing team is from. In addition, they always go to the Verizon Center exactly an hour early and watch the warm ups from the penalty box side. After,  they get a donut with strawberry frosting and sprinkles.

The last cool superstition belongs to Jeanaleah Harman. On game days she doesn’t wear the opposing team’s colors and on the 19th of the month, she sleeps in her Backstrom jersey. We like the jersey part!!

All these people have such amazing superstitions and I’m sure that isn’t nearly half of the interesting superstitions Caps fans have. Here’s hoping that they work in the playoffs.

What are your game day superstitions? Any special playoff ones?

p.s. Thanks to everyone for their answers on FB.

Hockey Traditions: Karl Alzner and Braden Holtby

Have you ever noticed what happens at the end of a game when the Washington Capitals win? Everyone lines up and does the head-tap with Braden Holtby. It a long-standing hockey tradition designed to honor the guy who took all the punishment in the net and kept the team in the game.

 

We have all seen the way in which Braden gets in the zone before the game. And we know about his water bottle rituals and odd acrobatic stretches before the game. What we have been wondering about though is the role Karl Alzner plays at the end of the game. Have you ever noticed the way Karl stands next to Braden as the rest of the team head and fist bumps Holtz? And when they have all passed through the congratulation line, Karl gives him a hug, wraps his arm around him, and escorts him off the ice.

So we asked Karl the other day, “What’s up with you and Braden at the end of the game?” He paused, thought about it, and then then said, “I don’t know.” Like most traditions it started one day and became an end-of-game ritual. Karl said he doesn’t remember doing it in Hershey where he and Holtby got their start playing with the AHL Bears. He doesn’t even know how it started but figures it probably had to do with their long friendship and playing history.

neuvy alzner

Apparently Karl doesn’t realize he has been escorting the goalie after a win for sometime now. Here he is in 2010 with another former Hershey Bear goalie turned Caps goalie–Michal Neuvirth.

So, we don’t know why they do it, but we think it is pretty cool and symbolic of the special bonds that hockey players develop over the course of their careers.

Photos by  Mel Abernethy and Brittney Marcum