Several teams across the National Hockey League have important traditions or superstitions they like to keep intact during the postseason. Since the start of their playoff run, the Washington Capitals have been known to start practice on a high note, with one player during a hot lap around the rink to boost their energy and motivate the crew.
We all remember when Caps head coach Barry Trotz did whatever he could to help his Capitals defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, when he jumped on the ice after captain Alex Ovechkin called him out to do the hot lap.
"That came out of nowhere," had said the 55-year-old head coach. "Obviously, we had to change it. We lost here last time. Put it this way: Real simply, they called my number. At this time of year, you're all in. I was ready. I was surprised."
On Saturday, the Vegas Golden Knights also took to the ice ahead of the third game of the Stanley Cup final, and it looked like one of them decided to make fun of the Capitals' tradition at the end of the morning skate. Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchesseault jumped on the ice to mimic the hot lap, by skating quite slowly and bumpy, hunching his back like an older person and looking a bit like a fool in the process.
Clearly an attack to the Capitals and their important team tradition. TVA Sports host Louis Jean filmed the incident from the stands earlier today; you can hear the reporters present laughing at what the star forward is doing:
Marchessault told reporters after practice that he saw Ovechkin do it last round and the Capitals won, so he adopted it in Winnipeg during the conference finals. Vegas won Game 2 against the Jets, so now he continues.
"Guys liked it," said Marchessault, who leads Vegas with eight goals and 19 points in the postseason. "So we'll keep it going on the road.”
The Knights star forward did not however explain why he acted so weird during his hot lap. Instead, he keeps focused on the pivotal third game of this intense final, which is currently tied 1-1 with Game 3 tonight in Washington.
The Golden Knights surely took hockey gamesmanship to a new level, taking a page out of the Capitals’ book!