Do Not Mock The Hockey Gods

Hockey and I have had a strange relationship. Despite going to Albany Academy (Craig Darby) and growing up around RPI (Joe Juneau and Adam Oates) and Union (both hockey powerhouses), I’ve never really been a fan, or been able to grasp some of the concepts. Baseball and basketball have always been my areas of expertise.

Since moving out here, and well, getting paid to know hockey (among other things), I’ve made a concerted effort to “better know the Bruins” as Stephen Colbert might put it. I’ve made it a point to attend practices and games, I listen intently to Jack Edwards, Mike Milbury, and Andy Brickley. I’ve learned rules and techniques. I get fired up after big hits. Tradition… well, that’s another matter.

Because the game was Patrice Bergeron’s first since suffering a second major concussion (he notched an assist in extended playing time), I went down to the locker room after tonight’s overtime win over Washington to help our photographer with postgame interviews. I’ve been in the locker room numerous times, but amazingly, it’s the first time I’ve been in there AFTER a game, when it’s somewhat crowded (and man, does a hockey locker room stink).

After a few interviews, it was about time to go. I took a couple of steps and felt a hand on my shoulder. It was the Bruins PR chief…. “Scotty – don’t go there. The logo.” Not two seconds later, Bruin Shawn Thornton came running by towards the shower, slapping me on the back and shouting “don’t step on the logo bro!”

Apparently, it’s tradition to avoid the giant logo stitched into the carpet of the locker room floor (see a picture here). Stepping on it is a signal for anyone aligned with the team to check you into the boards. Luckily, I was warned in time.

Of course, upon returning home, I immediately googled this ritual, and found it’s not only the Bruins. The locker room floor logo is off limits for just about every hockey team. I can’t explain it, but you can bet that if huge, tough hockey players tell me it’s tradition, I’ll observe it!

–SI

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