The power of playoff beards and other hockey superstitions

CBC

NHL players may be tough, but will any player ever be bold enough to step up and tell his team, "Let's not grow playoff beards"?

Ever since the New York Islanders pioneered playoff beards in 1980 and won four straight Stanley Cups with them, it's become an accepted fact that no beards equals no cup.

How to grow the perfect playoff beard

But author Andrew Podnieks, author of Hockey Superstitions: From Playoff Beards to Crossed Sticks and Lucky Socks, figures the trend can't last.

"The funny thing about the beards is that every year they work for one team and don't work for 15 teams," he said on CBC Radio's Day 6.

"There has to be a day," that teams stop growing them, he said. "Who's going to be that player to say to his team 'Let's not grow a beard'?"

Podnieks also chronicles the indivdual superstitions of past and present hockey greats, including why Sidney Crosby won't talk to his mom on game days and why Wayne Gretzky also made a point of missing his first shot during warmups.

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