feeling lazy this morning so i'll just rip this from another site
The first octopus landed on the ice during the Red Wings' 1952 Stanley Cup run, courtesy of brothers Pete and Jerry Cusimano, who owned a fish market. If you know your cephalopods, you will know that an octopus has eight tentacles. In those days it took eight playoff wins to claim the Cup, hence the supposed symbolism of the gesture.
The Red Wings were perfect in the '52 playoffs, sweeping the semifinal and the final in straight games. The octopus has been a good luck charm ever since.
By 1995, the team had adopted the tradition by introducing a mascot, Al the Octopus. Al is raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena before every home playoff game, and used in team merchandising and promotion.
The rat trick was a gimmick popularized by fans of the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL) during their 1995–96 season and trip to the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals. The term, a play on hat trick, was coined by Panthers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck after teammate Scott Mellanby killed a rat in the locker room prior to the team's home opener, then scored two goals. Fans immediately picked up on the idea and began throwing plastic rats on the ice to celebrate goals. By the time the Panthers reached the 1996 playoffs, thousands of rats hit the ice after every Panthers goal, resulting in an off-season rule change by the NHL that allowed for referees to penalize the home team if fans disrupt the game by throwing objects onto the ice.
waffles ???...i have no fucking idea