By @GeorgeJFox

I can understand keeping your equipment clean and at the ready from being a golfer. My dad passed on a saying from his dad about how you can “never hit a clean shot with a dirty club.” There’s an analogy here for hockey players and whether they keep their blade up or blade down while on the bench. It’s something of a mystery and getting to the bottom of a seemingly insignificant question gives a glimpse into the psychology of the NHL athlete.

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“When you’re sitting on the bench is your blade up or your blade down and why?” asked Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Daniels in an off-beat interview.

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Some of the guys have no idea why they hold their stick one way or the other while waiting to go back into play. The answers are varied, but the take home lesson is clear. The floor in front of the bench is gross.

For Detroit right wing Gustav Nyquist keeping his blade down is a conscious decision, “I don’t want my nob to get all wet and there’s a lot of spit and stuff like that on the floor,” he explained.

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“Blade is down all the way until probably I get the call to go out and then the blade goes up.” said left winger Henrik Zetterberg.