Good-luck charm

The role of superstitions in hockey is nearly as old as the game itself. Some players put on their equipment the same way. Others follow the same route to the rink. Even pregame meals are involved.

It's no different for fans, either. Case in point: To celebrate the team's early season success, I bought a hat over the weekend featuring the Buffalo Sabres' new "Buffaslug" logo. Aside from trying it on to make sure it fits, I wore it in public for the first time last night.

Why did I wait? It's simple. I wanted the hat to mean something. And with the Sabres' 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders, one that matched a team's best start (10-0-0) in league history, that was accomplished.

When will I wear it again? That's easy, too. This Saturday, when the Sabres play the Atlanta Thrashers at home. A win that night will give them the NHL record.

Though I could keep pushing its luck, wearing it only when the Sabres play as they attempt to tie or break the NHL record for longest win streak (17 games, by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins), I'll retire the hat after Saturday.

That doesn't mean, though, it'll end up gathering dust in a closet. I'll get it signed by Ales Kotalik, who scored Thursday night's game-winning goal, and Ryan Miller, who posted a shutout, when the Sabres come to town in early December. And should the Sabres win on Saturday, I'll add any necessary signatures then, too.

Superstitious? You betcha. Besides, I can always buy another Sabres hat.



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