The Stanley Cup Finals begin Wednesday night in Chicago when the Blackhawks face the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the NHL's championship series. If Chicago loses, its fans may storm the offices of the city of nearby Park Ridge, Ill. in protest because the suburb's leaders obviously don't understand NHL playoff superstitions.

You see, Park Ridge resident Frank Miller grew out the lawn in front of his home this spring as sort of the landscaping equivalent of the "playoff beard" that so many NHL players grow until their team is eliminated — or wins the Stanley Cup. Miller marked his "playoff lawn" with a sign that drew supportive beeps from Blackhawks' fans who drove past. But, the stodgy city leaders of Park Ridge apparently didn't like Miller's unsightly lawn, so they had it cut.

"I was watching the playoffs one night with my son and hear a lawn mower going off, and I come outside, 'What are you doing?' The guy was cutting my lawn with a giant industrial-sized mower, and he said that the city had come and paid him to cut my lawn," Miller said.

This is like someone storming into the locker room and taking a razor to the whiskers of all the players. Any NHL fan will tell you : don't mess with superstitions. Bad luck is sure to ensue. If the Blackhawks lose, the Park City mayor could wind up with a lot of angry hockey fans in his office.

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