With their win last night over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, the Colorado Avalanche are headed back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001.
The Avs are officially the Western Conference Champions and, as such, they were presented with the Clarence Campbell Bowl by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly last night in Edmonton. And when a team wins the Conference Championship there's always the question... "will they touch it?"
There's a long standing superstition of NOT touching the Clarence Campbell Bowl or the Prince of Wales Trophy (Eastern Conference) when presented as the belief is that it will curse you from winning the Stanley Cup. After all, no one goes to sleep at night dreaming of winning the Clarence Campbell or the Prince of Wales, they dream of winning the Stanley Cup. The idea is that there's more work to be done and that the Conference championship doesn't amount to much of anything, so why celebrate?
Well... the Avs said 'nuts to that' and went ahead and touched the damn thing. And why? Well, it appears like the team wasn't quite sure if they were going to touch it or not but GM Joe Sakic encouraged them to do it. After all, things worked out well for Sakic and the Avs when he wholeheartedly accepted the trophy back in 1995 and 2001.
Check out this incredible lip reading breakdown from Youtuber Nathan Rudolph:
"Go for it! Touch the damn thing!"
Superstitions are silly and I'm all for breaking with tradition, after all we have just as many examples of players touching the trophy and winning the Cup as we have players who didn't touch the trophy and also won the Cup. The fact of the matter is that the team who plays the best, gets the best breaks and capitalizes on their opportunities will win the Cup. Not the team who does or doesn't touch the Conference trophy. It's nonsense and I'm pleased to see Sakic drive home some common sense with his team.