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Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins takes a shot as Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens makes the stop in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 14, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) (Elsa/Getty Images)
Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins takes a shot as Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens makes the stop in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 14, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) (Elsa/Getty Images)

Breaking the playoff jinx Add to ...

When Brad Marchand's mother divulged last week that her son, a member of the Boston Bruins, had banished her from the arena, it cemented what many already knew: hockey can make people very superstitious.

Marchand, originally from Halifax, issued the ban after the Bruins lost three games that his mom had attended.

And rituals, fear of the jinx and superstitions are not just for the players.

Bill Estabrooks, a fervent Boston supporter, goes for the old-time hockey look during the playoffs.

As a result, the provincial cabinet minister, a longtime politician in Nova Scotia, isn't quite as smooth a talker when the hockey game is on.

"I always take my (front) teeth out when I watch the Bruins play hockey," Estabrooks said Friday. He lost one tooth playing football at Mount Allison University and another playing hockey."

"Of course, I have my Terry O'Reilly jersey that I wear. O'Reilly was my favourite hockey player and I was very blessed to have the opportunity to meet him a number of times."

"So I do take my teeth out when I watch the Bruins in the playoffs. Not during the regular season. I've also found that I can only drink Oland's beer when I watch the Bruins. I can't drink Keith's, it's just not acceptable."

"And the final thing is ... sweat pants and my Bruins socks. They're golf socks ... and I never wash them throughout the playoffs."

Like the Marchand family, the Dill household in Windsor, N.S., also had a temporary schism caused by the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Danny Dill inherited his passion for the Bruins from his late father Howard.

"We had to be very careful what we said, how we looked. You had to be careful not to jinx the game. For example, I might say, 'Oh, he's doing good,' and Dad would be like, 'You don't say a word."'

"Dad was very superstitious; he had to sit in the same chair," Dill said.

In Coldbrook, N.S., Richard Burton and his son Kent are cheering for the Tampa Bay Lightning to beat Boston.

A boyhood friend of Burton's from Cape Breton is married to a Lightning employee, and Burton has a pair of hockey pants that used to belong to Brad Richards that he wears for gentlemen's hockey.

Kent Burton has a signed Richards jersey in his bedroom, along with a replica Stanley Cup ring given to him by the team.

"I don't have as many rituals watching as I did when I played," said Richard Burton, a former university and senior player. "We put on popcorn, I drink water, he drinks pop. We're down in the basement with the big screen and we have our own chairs.

"When I played, I always taped my stick after every period, unless I scored. If I scored, I didn't. The pros do the same types of things."

 

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