As NHL playoffs continue, Edmonton Oilers fans lean on superstition

As NHL playoffs continue, Edmonton Oilers fans lean on superstition
As NHL playoffs continue, Edmonton Oilers fans lean on superstition

اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الخميس 23 مايو 2024 06:16 مساءً

As the Western Conference Finals kick off, hockey fans across the country are keeping a close eye on the Edmonton Oilers, the last remaining Canadian team in the NHL playoffs.

And some of their most ardent supporters are making sure they don't do anything that could possibly jinx the team, who face off against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Jack's Burger Shack in downtown Edmonton briefly offered a game day burger with a blue-and-orange bun — the team's colours.

Co-owner Tu Le says he thought the colourful bun would be a special way to kick off the playoffs.

"But they lost that game and so, again, we're really superstitious," he said. The burger was pulled from the menu.

"If they would have won, we could have carried on the tradition but it didn't work out so well."

But, Le says, his restaurant has been delivering food to the team's coaches and training staff for more than a year, though he didn't initially know it.

Once he learned of the deliveries, he says he started keeping tabs on the team's outcomes.

During this year's playoffs, "when they have ordered here, they're 4-0," he said.  

The same cooks make the meals and the same people deliver them every time, he says.

Le admits that he feels a bit of pressure about the deliveries now, which he says usually consist of 13 cheeseburgers and seven orders of fries.

"It used to be fun watching the games and spirited. But now it's stressful," he said, joking about the possible connection between his food and game outcomes.

"I hope talking about it doesn't jinx them."

Tu Le is a co-owner of Jack's Burger Shack in downtown Edmonton.

Tu Le is a co-owner of Jack's Burger Shack in downtown Edmonton.

Tu Le is a co-owner of Jack's Burger Shack in downtown Edmonton. (David Bajer/CBC)

Businesses gear up

Other local businesses are also cashing in on the hockey fever gripping Edmonton.

David Young, general manager of the Cabin Pub + Party , says business is up 80 to 120 per cent on game days.

Now that the Oilers are in the semi-finals, there are more hands on deck.

"We definitely are prepping far more food," Young said.

"We have extra staff, from extra doormen to provide security to extra bartenders and servers and obviously extra hands in the kitchen."

Young says the staff are also working to make game days special.

David Young is the general manager of The Cabin Pub near downtown Edmonton.

David Young is the general manager of The Cabin Pub near downtown Edmonton.

David Young is the general manager of the Cabin Pub + Party near downtown Edmonton. (Kory Siegers/CBC)

"We do trivia games throughout the event. We do a score-and-win contest where, if an Oiler scores, people win," he said.

"We have a DJ playing during the game … It's really a show more than just a hockey game."

Young himself also has some routines and rhythms on game day.

"What I'm wearing now is what I was wearing during Game 7. I'll be wearing this tonight for the game. I can't be the reason the whole ship crashes, so I do my part to help the Oilers and the city," he said.

An Albertan in Dallas

Curtis Craig grew up in Leduc, approximately 30 kilometres south of Edmonton, and has been a fan of the Oilers since 1979.

He moved to Dallas in 2005 and his love for the team has persisted despite being thousands of kilometres away.

When the Oilers made the conference finals, Craig put some plans into motion.

"I took the day off [Thursday]... I needed to prepare for the game, to get in the right mindset," he said.

"My wife thinks I'm silly. I'm 55 years old. It's kind of silly that I'm this excited about a hockey series but I needed some time to just relax and get my favourite spot on the couch ready."

While he has attended Oilers games in Dallas during the regular season, Craig has no plans to be at playoff games.

"I think nine times out of ten, the Oilers lose when I come. So I'm staying home. I'm a little superstitious when it comes to that."

Craig has a few more superstitions — he says his wife is not allowed to walk in front of the TV to the right, she can only go left.

"When she walks to the right, the Oilers have been scored on. So I asked her to go the other way," he said.

"I have a TV room that's meant for me to watch hockey so my wife can get a reprieve from hockey once in a while. But I watched the game in there and the Oilers lost. So I've now moved back out to the living room and taken over the living room, which my wife is not very happy about it. But I've got to do what I've got to do to give the Oilers some luck."

Curtis Craig has been a loyal supporter of the Edmonton Oilers since the 1970s.

Curtis Craig has been a loyal supporter of the Edmonton Oilers since the 1970s.

Curtis Craig has been a loyal supporter of the Edmonton Oilers since the 1970s. (Submitted by Curtis Craig)

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