Playoff Superstitions: Do you have them? We do.

Bruce Bennett

Across the SB Nation NHL network this week, NBC Sports is sponsoring a series about playoff hockey and superstitions. Here's our contribution.

Heather (lilybraden)

My superstitions are real! But they change from season to season. Partway through this season I retired my black and gold scarf that I started wearing in 2010-2011 (I'm pretty sure it gave the Bruins the edge in 2011) in favor of looking forward. I've been making cookies for pregame for a few years. I make a Black & Gold Cookie - which is Dark Chocolate Chewy Cookie with Peanut Butter Chips.

This playoff series I'm making Black & Gold Cookies and my Thank You Kessel cookie (Oatmeal Maple Walnut with Maple drizzle) wearing my Addias Marathon shirt that says "Boston Stands As One" under my Mark Recchi jersey" Also for years I've had my toenails painted in Black & Gold and I wear flip flops to show them off. This year the flip flops are gold. Also, we have certain pregame meals that work better than others - so we stick to meals like a hot goalie. On my way to my seat for a home game, I have a concession guy that I stop and kiss on the cheek. We switched up cheeks for the playoffs. It seems to be working.

And writing all that out....I realize how insane a person I am...and I didn't even tell you about the way I enter the building and which escalator I take.

Phil (phunwin)

I consider myself a hyper-rational person. Regular readers to this site may have noticed how little I care for conventional hockey wisdom and how much I value objective, quantifiable evidence. So, based upon that, you might fairly assume that I am utterly devoid of superstition, right? After all, what possible effect could some dumbass ritual have on a game hundreds of miles away? In fact, the opposite is true. Defying all reason and logic, at playoff time, I become as superstitious as a coven of witches. I assume this is the left side of my brain telling the right side "Dude, I am way overdue for a vacation, why don't you take the wheel for awhile?"

I will usually (not always) wear a jersey to watch the game. If the Bruins win, I'll leave the jersey right there on the couch for the next game. If they lose, I wash it, to wash out the bad luck. I recently bought a 12 pack of Sam Adams Summer Ale, one of my favorites. I will not touch it when the Bruins are on. It's a "summer" ale! It might make them start their summer sooner! Similarly, any beer produced around the place where the opposition calls home is verboten. Sorry, Labatt's. (God, I hope they don't play the Ducks or Sharks in the Finals; I've grown quite fond of California IPAs.) During games, I won't walk upstairs from my basement Man Cave to use the restroom. Instead, I'll piss in the laundry sink. Actually, that one might be simple laziness, not superstition. I'll sit in the same seat throughout; the leftmost seat on my couch. Not my recliner, not any other spot on the couch or the love seat.

Last but certainly not least, there is Phoebe the Good Luck Cat. If she watches the game with me, the Bruins are unbeatable. Her record during the Cup run was just about flawless (I think it was 14-4). If she doesn't, they're screwed; she didn't want to watch game 7 of the Caps series last year, guess how that turned out? Who knew that the whims of a housecat could determine a Stanley Cup champion?

Giesse

My superstitions are apparel driven. After last year's quick exit after round one with the Capitals, I retired a Mitchell and Ness old-timey Bruins shirt.

On a road trip last summer, I replaced it with a Spoked-B cloisonne pin purchased at the Charlton rest area on the Mass Pike that I now wear on game days and so far, so good.

Sarah

I go less for superstitions and more for things I view as portents for how each game will come out. However, In 2011, I had a lucky Nathan Horton shirt that I left in Toronto after game 7 against Tampa by accident. I'd worn it for a good bunch of playoff games; my record while wearing the shirt was undefeated. I didn't wear it for all the games, because sometimes it just didn't FEEL right.

After the Bruins lost game 1 against Vancouver, I frantically called the hotel we'd been staying at only to find out that yes, they'd found my shirt, and yes, they could ship it back to me in Boston. It didn't arrive in time for game 2, but it was here for game 3, and I wore it for four of the remaining games, including under my nice sweater in the press box for game 6. Needless to say, we know how that turned out.

I remember making a wish every time I saw the numbers "11:11" on the clock during the 2011 cup run, too -- and every time, the wish was the same. Please, hockey gods, let the Bruins win the Cup. I saw those numbers a lot, which I thought was weird, through the regular season and all four playoff series.

Steph (mybruinsOface)

If they lose, I make sure not to wear the same articles of clothing or jewelry the next game day.

Joe Meloni

In 2011, I was still, unfortunately, living at home.

For varying reasons, I watched a good portion of the games alone on my couch in Quincy. I'm not superstitious by nature. In fact, I usually ridicule people that have the kind of paralyzing superstitions that make it hard for them to function like actual adults. But, it so happened, that every game I watched at home, the Bruins won. They got some victories when I watched games at bars, but, without fail, if I watched alone in my living room, they won. The list of wins is:

Montreal: Games 3,4,5
Philadelphia: Games 1, 2
Tampa Bay: Game 5
Vancouver: Games 3,4,6

So when it came down to Game 7 of the Cup finals, I was met with quite the quandary after finally noticing this trend. Again, I'm very much anti-superstition, but I was worried about this one. I didn't want to be stuck at my apartment in Quincy if they won. It was impossible for all of my friends to get there to watch with me given work and school, etc. So I flouted the superstition, knowing full well what would happen if they lost.

Alas, they won, and all was wonderful. However, that apartment in Quincy will always be good luck. Bruins went 9-0 when I watched games there in 2011. They're, 1-0, so far this year.

Quentin (tomservo42)

Let's see, my superstitions are many and fickle. Some form of Bruins attire is a must. If I'm travelling or dressing up for some kind of occasion, you bet your ass my undershirt or boxers are emblazoned with the spoked B. Otherwise, nothing but Bergeron gear - whichever of two shirts and two jerseys are working, it stays until it fails, then rotate. No drinking out of the Stanley Cup Champs beer glass.

As with Phil, no swill from the opponent's surrounding area - contravening my in-season habit of drinking their local brew in a symbolic gesture of dominance. Playoff beard is a must now that it worked the first time I tried it. If I'm not in a working situation where I can get away with looking like an Amish teen on rumspringa, I grow just the goatee out and shave the rest daily. I used to rub the head of my Bobby Orr figure on the memorabilia shelf before each game, but switched to Bourque after he started failing. In an act of desperation after game two of the Vancouver series, unable to figure out which piece on the shelf had bad juju, I loaded everything into a bag and stuffed it in the closet. Restored it last year and look what happened. The shelf hasn't gone back up since I moved and I'm not about to test it out.

I think I just diagnosed myself with post-season OCD.

Erin (ecozens)

The Bruins (and the Red Sox) have never, ever won when I've seen them in person. Ever. Thats why i wont go see them when they come to DC. Should playoff tix ever come to me, you can bet I'm not taking them. I'm awful, terrible luck, apparently ;)

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