Strange doesn’t begin to explain the connection between the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Egypt and the 1976 Stanley Cup playoffs, but there is a connection all the same. Toronto and Philadelphia faced each other in the playoffs three successive years, from 1974 to 1976. These were violent series full of fighting, animosity, and bitter rivalry, but in the end the Flyers won the first two series and went on to win the Stanley Cup. In 1976, though, Leafs coach Red Kelly tried to get those ancient Egyptians on board through Pyramid Power.

Toronto coach Red Kelly tried unsuccessfully to use Pyramid Power to help the Leafs defeat the Flyers in the playoffs. (photo credit 1.3)


Kelly’s sons had recently visited Egypt and had told their dad about the reputed mythical, mystical effects of pyramids. Pyramids were supposed to allow food to remain fresh longer, keep razor blades sharp, increase sexual performance and prowess, and even provide energy beyond human capacity. None of this had ever been proved, of course, but it was worth a try for Kelly, so he outfitted the Leafs’ dressing room and players’ bench with small pyramids perhaps about a foot wide at the base.

The superstition was threefold. First, it was a way of uniting the team. Second, it was a way, he hoped, of psyching out the enemy Flyers. Third, it was a way of motivating the team, making them believe in themselves as somehow gifted or blessed with a power the other team didn’t have. The frenzy in Toronto during the series was exceptional, but in the end the Flyers won game seven, on home ice, 7-3, thanks to another superstition Kate Smith.

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