Kraken pregame superstitions: green tea, yoga… and vomit

Kraken pregame superstitions: green tea, yoga... . and vomit


Religiously following their superstitions, many athletes of all disciplines observe the same pre-game ritual and Seattle Kraken players are no exception in the 2023 playoffs, some of them having adopted rather strange habits. 

In a text published earlier this week by the daily “Seattle Times”, it is possible to learn more about the small gestures that pass in the shadows at the Kraken, currently tied 1 to 1 with the Dallas Stars in National Hockey League Western Conference Semi-Final. Admittedly, a few cases remain within the norm: winger Daniel Sprong is always the last player to leave the ice at the warm-up session, while forward Brandon Tanev, hair in the wind, skates in a figure 8 during the pre-match period. 

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However, other cases are atypical.

“There are some guys so nervous here that they absolutely have to vomit before every game. If they don't, they won't play a good game, said goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer. Let's say it's too intense.” 

Others have chosen preparation techniques that are a little more pleasant. According to defenseman Vince Dunn, skaters need a visit to Starbucks at a specific time. But for Grubauer, who says he burns 8 to 12 lbs in sweat per game, coffee is off limits. “I just take a lot of green tea. Hydration is the key. You need a lot of electrolytes and salts,” he pointed out. 

“When you're younger, the same age as Matty Beniers [20 years old], for example, you don't think too much about it. However, older and after a few injuries, you learn. You start to listen to your body a little more,” added the former Colorado Avalanche, among others. 

The 31-year-old athlete therefore relies on yoga, flexibility exercises and lifting weights outside the rink. On the playing surface, his attention is directed to well-identified parts of the body: the groin and the hips. 

“For goalkeepers, it is obviously important, since we apply pressure there. We are constantly on our knees and standing close to our posts,” he said. 

Not a question of age

On the other hand, the Kraken's second-youngest player, Tye Kartye, also has his superstitions, no offense to the keeper. Just as he did in the minor ranks, he has taken very specific actions since his recall. He unleashes the same kinds of throws in morning practice and takes care to sit in the cold tub after the session.  

“I don't live for it, but I do every game day,” the 22-year-old forward admitted. shoulder pads on the left side first, then those on the right side. On game days, its lunch menu does not change and the same goes for dinner. Also, he literally makes a kind of button in the shape of a mushroom at the top end of the stick he uses. The task requires him 5 to 10 minutes of work. 

“It's a bit of a chore, but I'm stuck with it now, he considered, saying he imitated an old teammate he met when he was 12 years old. It's pretty extreme and guys are commenting on it.”