The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Pro

May 24, 2008

Inside hockey’s superstitions

PITTSBURGH — Prior to each NHL game they play, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Max Talbot boxes goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Arms flail. A few jabs land.

But no one gets hurt.

The playful ritual is just another in a long line of NHL superstitions adopted inside the Penguins locker room.

“We’ve been doing that a while now,” said Fleury, who occasionally can be seen on the jumbo scoreboard TV fending off Talbot’s jabs while the Penguins wait to enter the rink from the hallway just outside the Pittsburgh locker room. “We just keep it going. We do it just before we go on the ice. It started with one, then two.”

That’s how superstitions develop.

Do something out of the ordinary once, then follow that with a good game. Do the same thing the next night. And, the next. And, so on.

“It’s a little thing I got. I guess it worked,” Talbot said of his boxing skills, which he displayed wearing street clothes during games he missed because of an injury. “We kept on doing that. Fleury’s been playing well. I think that’s why he’s been playing well. A couple jabs. Nothing more to it. We just talk. We just act a little bit, nothing too crazy.”

The Stanley Cup playoffs provide a two-month stage for one “crazy” superstition after another.

“That’s kind of the fun part of the playoffs, you see guys get into their routines and stuff that you don’t typically see during the season,” said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. “Guys that aren’t typically that superstitious, you start to see the same things over and over again. They’ll tell you they’re not superstitious – that they like to get in their routine – but in a way, we all like to get used to doing the same things and we don’t want to change things up.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro
  • Pirates cut down by Reds’ Cueto

    April 23, 2014

  • Penguins 0422 Blown leads are troubling trend in series

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0421 Penguins finish hot to grab 2-1 series lead

    Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0421 Pirates walk off against Reds to halt home skid

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.
    Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0420a Game 3 pivotal for both teams

    Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the worst team in the NHL.
    Now they’re heading home for tonight’s Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins, hoping to make even more history.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads