During the Capitals 2017-18 regular season, Jakub Vrana and Madison Bowey got intertwined into a silly superstition. Prior to the pregame warmup, or before each period, they held hands as they made their way onto the ice. The ritual continued until Bowey was assigned to the Hershey Bears in early March.
Less than a month later, Bowey was recalled from Hershey and added to the roster for the playoffs as a Black Ace. With his return, both Bowey and Vrana fell right back into their familiar habit, as if no time had passed at all.
JUST FYI THIS IS STILL HAPPENING
"He wanted to give me high five so from beginning we just do the high five," Vrana said, "And then lately I was like holding his hand and he didn't let it go and we just skate in the ice together." pic.twitter.com/4bscremdDJ
— b. (@hoosierbea) May 14, 2018
Though Bowey has been a healthy scratch for the duration of the playoffs so far, he has still been participating in warmups. Thus, the handholding made a reappearance.
The superstition first came to light in January. Capitals fan Emily Altman posted a video to her Twitter account, which caught Bowey and Vrana exiting the tunnel holding hands.
— Emily (@emilyaltman93) January 12, 2018
“My family and I have a partial season plan with the Caps,” Altman said in an email to us. “I was sitting with my little brother waiting for warm ups to start, and when we saw Bowey and Vrana holding hands on their way out of the tunnel we were both laughing at another silly Caps warm up skate antic.”
The handholding didn’t go unnoticed for long, and was picked up on on NBC Sports Washington’s broadcast of a game. That prompted the network’s JJ Regan to ask Bowey and Vrana about what had inspired the superstition.
“We’re pretty good buddies off the ice,” Bowey said to Regan. “Obviously, we’ve been together for the past two, three years now. It’s I think just kind of something that we just are kind of going with right now.”
Though Vrana and Bowey played together at Hershey for two seasons, the superstition didn’t start there. It was just a spur of the moment situation that turned into something more.
“One game we were just trying to get each other going a little bit and I lent my hand out and he gave me a little high five,” Bowey said. “Now it just kind of carried on a little bit longer.”
“He wanted to give me high five so from beginning we just do the high five,” Vrana said, “And then lately I was like holding his hand and he didn’t let it go and we just skate in the ice together.”
Even with the brief hiatus caused by Bowey’s return to Hershey, everything about the ritual remained exactly as it had been once he rejoined the team.
“He’s always going in front of me and I go behind him and we kind of like hold the hands and just try to shake and skate on the ice together,” Vrana said. “It’s like our game ritual or something.”
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