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.
Superstitious hockey players are usually loath to discuss their superstitions.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) May 13, 2018