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Unwashed Jerseys & Playoff Beards: For Some, Superstitions Only Grow Worse As Pens Advance

Gene J. Puskar
Pittsburgh Penguins fans cheer during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final between the Penguins and Nashville Predators, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Penguins  have advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs in their bid to win a third straight Stanley Cup. 

Thursday, the Pens visit Washington, a team the Pens have defeated in nine of 10 playoff series through the years.

Do the Penguins have the Capitals' number or are the Caps due to beat the Pens?

In another of their conversations about Pittsburgh sports teams, NPR’s biggest Pittsburgh sports fan, David Greene and 90.5 WESA’s Kevin Gavin talk about streaks and superstitions.

Greene on the chances for the Penguins to defeat the Capitals an eighth straight time in the playoffs:

"Winning four straight [first-round games], they seem to be on a little bit of a roll right now.  I don't know; I feel we're in their heads; we have their number, but I'm not as confident as a I normally would be."

Greene on whether he has playoff superstitions:

"Of course, are you kidding me?  This weird superstition I'm scared is growing.  I've been traveling a ton during playoff time.  I've been listening to [Penguins' radio announcer] Mike Lange call a lot of games on the Penguins app.  I don't think they've lost since I've listened, and this includes in Philly in Game 6.  I'd rather watch the game, but I'm getting to a point to if things get tough, do I need to turn the TV off and listen to Mikey?"

Greene (who resides in D.C.) on whether Capitals fans are confident:

"I am so excited. People in Washington are so nervous. This is the greatest thing ever."

Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago. kgavin@wesa.fm
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