When the Boston Bruins managed to protect their 1-0 lead and win Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, many shifted their thoughts to their matchup against the Vancouver Canucks. Yet after they finished the time-honored tradition of the post-series handshakes,* a subset of the hockey public wondered: would Bruins captain Zdeno Chara touch the Prince of Wales Trophy?
In case you aren’t aware, many players are superstitious when it comes to touching the conference championship trophies. The gesture is obviously made to signify the belief that the ultimate goal is still four wins away.
Still, many captains decide to touch the trophies anyway. This post points out the fact that captains who touched one of the conference trophies are 4-5 since 2001, then polled PHT readers to see if they believe captains should touch the trophies. (A little under 52 percent said “No.”)
At first, it seemed like Chara would go the predictable route and not touch the Prince of Wales trophy. Chara did refrain from touching it, but he put his own spin on the ceremony by inviting his teammates over to pose around it. One might say that Chara channeled his inner Mike Eruzione in that moment, albeit on a much smaller scale.
(Eruzione – captain of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic team – invited his teammates to cram on a podium intended for one person during the gold medal ceremony.)
It’s probably a stretch to say that Chara made an homage to that moment, but either way, it was an interesting twist on a rather silly tradition. Both Chara and Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin refrained from touching the respective trophies this year, so the record will stay at 4-5 for another year.
* The most emotional moment there likely belonged to Tim Thomas and Martin St. Louis, who were college teammates at the University of Vermont.