They earned their first Western Conference title. They earned their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final. They earned their first Clarence Campbell Bowl, which means they also earned the right to answer that eternal question for any champion in the NHL:
To touch, or not to touch?
There’s a superstition in the NHL that you don’t touch the conference championship trophy, lest one tempt fate and jinx them for the Stanley Cup Final. It’s all a bit silly, and On The Forecheck had a great breakdown as to why.
So what did the Predators do?
The opted for ‘not to touch.’
According to Bobby Misey of On The Forecheck, maybe this was actually smart:
Despite the numbers saying that they should touch the Clarence S. Campbell trophy, there are compelling reasons why not. The two last teams to touch their conference trophy and lose were the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, coached by Peter Laviolette, and the 2007 Ottawa Senators, on which Mike Fisher played. Red flags? Red flags. Furthermore, when Laviolette’s Carolina Hurricanes did not touch the Prince of Wales trophy in 2006, they won the Stanley Cup. Therefore, if we’re talking about intangibles, perhaps it would be wise for Nashville to stray far away from the Clarence S. Campbell trophy.
Now, some of this might depend on what the East winner does. In the last 20 years, “when one team touches the cup and the other does not, the touching team is 5-3,” according to Misey.
Anyway, congrats to the Predators for winning the West and then opting not to skate around the rink to allow fans to use the trophy as a giant spittoon. Hey, just because you’re winners now doesn’t mean the stereotypical jokes stop.
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