Tag: superstitions


Sports Illustrated puts King Henrik on the cover


Henrik Lundqvist has a gold medal. He’s a superstar goalie playing in the glow of the spotlight that comes in Madison Square Garden. King Henrik has been seen playing guitar in a band with John McEnroe and oh yeah, he’s also a pretty … healthy looking fella (cough). Yup, the stupendous Swede has done a lot, but now add “adorn the cover of the world’s most famous sports magazine” to his resume:


Let’s play a little round of good news/bad news, then:

Good news: It’s a really, really really cool cover. (Seriously, if you’re a hockey fan and a newstand, you’ve gotta scoop that up right?)

Bad news: He’s wearing a mask and not a suit.

Good news: Hockey gets a moment to shine on Sports Illustrated’s cover, which is still a sign that you’ve “made it” even as the magazine industry struggles.

Bad news: The Sports Illustrated “cover jinx” probably isn’t as spooky as the “Madden” one is, but with Lundqvist never having much luck in the playoffs and hurting his arm a bit in the last week of the season, well … it’s a worry to the more neurotic ones out there.

Either way, if you ask me, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Just a beautiful cover. It also might work into the fun (if unfair) go-to narrative of comparing this year’s Rangers to the Mark Messier-powered, 1993-94 model. (Indulge in that comparison here.)

Check out video behind the cover shoot at Sports Illustrated’s Web site while soaking in a rather interesting bit of info on the last few Rangers who were used to sell magazines before:

–          Wayne Gretzky – April 26, 1999

–          Mark Messier & Wayne Gretzky – October 7, 1996

–          Mark Messier – June 13, 1994

–          Pete Stemkowski – May 6, 1974

–          Ed Giacomin – March 2, 1970

–          Andy Bathgate – January 12, 1959

Of course, optimistic Rangers fans are probably fighting themselves not to ask this: will the Rangers pull out another SI cover around late-June when the Stanley Cup gets handed out? (Boy, now we’re really starting to get into “jinx” territory …)

To touch or not to touch: Should captains handle the conference title trophies?

BIll Daly, Henrik Sedin

One of the more bizarre things you’ll see after each conference title is decided is how team captains handle the presentation of the conference championship trophy. Superstitions are things that many hockey players take very seriously. Like we saw during 24/7, Sidney Crosby goes through the same routine each game day before even getting his equipment on. Even his equipment isn’t absolved from superstition.

When it comes to touching either the Clarence Campbell Bowl or the Price of Wales Trophy though, some take it as serious business and even think there’s a correlation between touching it and going on to win the Stanley Cup. As we saw the other night, Canucks captain Henrik Sedin wanted nothing to do with touching the Campbell Bowl after the Canucks took care of the Sharks in five games. It’s a lonely life being a conference championship trophy sometimes.

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Whether your team’s captain touches it or not is up to them or the rest of the team whether or not they want to invite their idea of a jinx into the rest of their playoff lives but as Emily Kaplan from NHL.com discussed today, there’s really not a lot to the whole thing.

Since 2001, teams who have touched their conference trophy are 4-5 in the resulting Stanley Cup Final.

Basically, it’s a coin toss and ultimately up to the team’s to figure out if they want to leave their fate up to the bogeyman. Last year, Flyers captain Mike Richards put his hands all over it in front of the home fans in Philly and they went on to lose in six games to the no-touch Chicago Blackhawks with Jonathan Toews.

You don’t have to go far back to find previous trophy grabbers whose teams did go on to win the Stanley Cup as Sidney Crosby did so in 2009 when the Penguins disposed of Detroit in seven games. Of course, he didn’t touch it in 2008 and the Red Wings took out Pittsburgh in six games. In both of those years, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom opted not to touch the Campbell Bowl.

It’d be far more fascinating if there were a correlation between touching the conference title and whether or not that helped you figure out who won the Cup, but unless Vincent Lecavalier or Zdeno Chara touch the Price of Wales Trophy tomorrow night in Boston, we won’t know if there’ll be a faceoff of the mystical kind against Vancouver in the Stanley Cup finals.

What makes this debate over whether or not to touch the trophy even sillier is the fact that teams will slap on the conference championship hat and celebrate on the ice together but they won’t touch the trophy. Fans don’t even want to buy the conference championship gear because if your team ends up losing in the finals you’re left with a $30 reminder of what ultimately was a failed season. I guess we just want a little consistency here is all.

Our hope for tomorrow night is that we’ll see the Eastern Conference champion grab the Prince of Wales Trophy and skate it around in spite of superstition. Not so much as a means of going over the top to celebrate the wrong title but just to spite people’s thoughts of jinxes.