WINNIPEG — Most Winnipeg Jets fans know their actions off-ice won’t help the players on ice, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.
A day after the Jets dropped their third straight game to the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs, fans were quick to share the superstitions they carry when their favorite team is playing.
“We scored when I wasn’t watching, so for a while during the game, I stopped watching, “said fan, Jacquie House.
Former Manitoban Rob Gaudry flew in from Calgary to watch the game Tuesday night and says he knows one reason why the Jets may have lost.
For much of the season he and his daughter have watched the games together, Gaudry in an Evander Kane Jersey and his daughter wearing Zach Bogosion’s number. When Kane was traded in February, Gaudry traded his jersey in.
“I stopped wearing my Kane jersey they started winning. My daughter kept wearing the Bogosian. I phoned her last night and said ‘Did you wear your Bogosian?’ and she said ‘no’, so I’m blaming it on her,” said a laughing Gaudry.
But University of Manitoba sociology professor, Daniel Albas, says superstitions can be very serious for fans and players alike.
“It’s very much a coping mechanism,” said Albas, who says superstitions often surface in high-stress, high-anxiety situations, where some things are out of the fan or players’ control. “Under those circumstances, one is motivated to make use of magic as a way of bridging the gap between the means and the goals.”
Anaheim Ducks forward, Corey Perry, touches the ice with his stick before dressing for the game.
And its a Jets player who knocks a carefully stacked pile of pucks onto the ice for the pre-game warm up.
But Albas says it’s often the goalie who are the most superstitious.
“The goaltender has the most risky job of them all and is therefore the most magic ridden player on the team,” said Albas.
Even if they’re not playing for the Stanley Cup, Doug Gidley has been between the pipes for decades, most recently for a noon-hour recreational team, and even when nothing is really on the line, he gets dressed the same way
“My right pad goes on first, then my skate,” says Gidley. “It’s just the way it is.”