Capitals

Capitals

TAMPA-The first rule about The Hot Lap is: you don’t talk about the Caps’ morning skate hot lap.

Or at least you don’t say much about it.

What the heck am I talking about? Watch this:

It’s become a thing in these playoffs—and the Caps’ players have embraced it.

Here’s what we do know:

*The Hot Lap only occurs for morning skates on the road.

*Jay Beagle initiated it in the first round, likely because he grew tired of waiting for the ice to freeze thoroughly following a cut by the Zamboni.

*Alex Ovechkin seized it from Beagle prior to Game 6 in Pittsburgh, presumably because the team lost Game 4 at PPG Paints Arena.

The Hot Lap has been performed by Ovechkin ever since…and the Caps are 2-0 in those games.

So, of course, he did it again Sunday prior to Game 2 in Tampa.

As much as we’d all like to know more about this tradition and its origins, those details probably won’t be forthcoming. 

Why? 

Superstitious hockey players are usually loath to discuss their superstitions.