Did Richards' cup-hoisting jinx the Flyers?

May 25, 2010 3:26:52 PM PDT
When you talk about Philadelphia sports, you've got to talk about superstition.

Team captain Mike Richards reminded us of that following the Flyers' Monday night victory over Montreal. Once the team won, he knew they were heading to the Stanley Cup Finals, Richards picked up the Prince of Wales Trophy.

So what?

Well, there is no shortage of hockey fans who believe that hoisting an NHL trophy that doesn't say "Stanley" on it is a jinx.

Philadelphia sports psychologist Dr. Joel Fish says there's a reason why so many pro athletes adhere to traditions, rituals, and even superstitions.

"Mentally, it gives you some sense of security and, if you feel secure mentally, your body often falls into place," said Dr. Fish. "You can start thinking 'I'm ready to play today.'"

However, Dr. Fish believes that Richards knew exactly what he was doing when he performed what would otherwise be considered a pro-hockey no-no.

"I think it's really part of their identity. Mike Richards is making a statement in the opposite way: 'We've gotten here unconventionally, here's another thing we're doing against the grain," Dr. Fish said.

On the street Tuesday, fans couldn't agree more. After all, it wasn't luck or superstition that made the Flyers the Eastern Conference champions.

"I really do believe Mike Richards should have picked up that trophy and skated around with the whole team around the stadium" said Mike McGovern of Port Richmond.

You may remember, Sid Crosby picked up the Eastern Conference trophy last year, and the Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup.