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I'm not superstitious / I have no doubt

that there's a reason / how...

If only he had put the left glove on first.
If only he had put the left glove on first.
Justin K. Aller

... the Islanders always win Sunday day games that begin after 2 p.m. only when I wear the blue Mike Bossy jersey and watch the game from the tan couch while drinking two iced teas, but never three, as long as I've taken the dogs out during the first intermission.

Or something like that.

I'm not superstitious -- really. Don't need to recite a silly Europe song to reassure myself.

But, you know ... I certainly used to be.

As a child, it was all about the right jersey worn on the right day, until they lost with that combination and I searched for what other cosmological, or maybe astrological, factor altered fate and upset the hockey gods on that day.

I never got into food or routine-type of habits to guide my, I mean, to channel the will of the hockey gods through me. It was mostly team gear. Which might explain my gratuitously expansive and frankly embarrassing-for-an-adult jersey collection.

The truly torturous thing about superstitions is the feedback loop you enter when you acknowledge they exist. For example: It's perfectly fine to not wear the WEBB jersey you wore during last night's loss, but ... once you overtly acknowledge the reason for your clothing change, haven't you already endangered its effect?

Maybe it's just me, but isn't the first rule of Superstition Club not to talk about Superstition Club?

Certainly plenty of athletes -- the arena where all superstitions really become disorders -- believe in this aspect of superstitions enough that they will acknowledge having them but not specify what they are.

The other day, Mrs. Lighthouse called me out. Right there, in front of the hockey gods. She said, "No jersey?" I sheepishly drifted into my 10-year-old self: "Well...I'm already warm, and I was rushed, and I ... well, and the Isles won last game without one."


I tried to rationalize that it was more about routine, or association with positive memories: "I wore THIS last time, and I was happy! I wore the NIELSEN last time and I was sad!"

But in the end we know the same thing that attracts us and addicts us to sports -- it's unpredictability and penchant for changing at any moment -- is the same thing that lures us into creating religious beliefs out of sartorial absurdities.

Now, seeing as I wore the same thing for the Islanders' Game 5 loss that I wore for their Game 4 victory, clearly I am not the problem.

You are.

So, Islanders fans, whatever it is you did differently on Thursday night, don't do it again. Go back to Game 2 and 4 routines.

The Islanders' survival in these playoffs depends on it.

Across the SB Nation NHL network this week, NBC Sports is sponsoring a series about playoff hockey and superstitions. This is our contribution. Consider this your Friday night playoff watch thread as well.