If the NHL playoffs were ever to spawn a beauty pageant, it would be of a decidedly unique aesthetic - with extra judging points for beards, bruises, cuts, and missing teeth.
The early leader in that notional competition? We submit Ryan White of the Montreal Canadiens.
White was back in practice Tuesday after taking a puck in the mouth Monday, sporting a lip as fat as a bicycle tire and the early sprouts of ginger playoff whiskers.
Then there are the final remnants of the black eye and bruised forehead won in a donnybrook with the Maple Leafs' Mike Brown last Saturday.
"It's been a tough week for my face," smiled the Brandon, Man., native, "but that's the way it goes, it's all part of the game."
And the playoffs haven't even officially started.
Though the Habs are loath to get into an alleyway confrontation with the Boston Bruins, White is one of the few players in Montreal that can mash and bash when the going gets flinty.
And he'll likely see a lot of Boston's bruisers including Shawn Thornton, the current leader in the NHL stitches standings (after a skate blade swiped across his forehead last month).
White relishes the challenge.
"It's the best time of the year, we have a lot of confidence . . . we're excited about it," he said.