PLAYOFF BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Los Angeles Kings at Phoenix Coyotes, 9 p.m. (TSN, RDS)
New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers, 8 p.m. (CBC, RDS)
All times Eastern
AS SMITH’S LEGEND GROWS, SO DOES HIS HAIR
Glendale, Ariz. Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith wasn’t even born when Crosby, Stills and Nash recorded the seminal Almost Cut My Hair. If he’s familiar with the Cowsills’ Hair (“Oh say, can you see my eyes. If you can, then my hair’s too short), it’s only because he listens to oldies radio. But Smith, the 30-year-old star of these playoffs for the Coyotes, hasn’t had a haircut in almost a year and, on Monday morning, he revealed why after practice at Jobing.com Arena. It isn’t because he’s superstitious, which was the most common theory. Last summer, Smith shaved his head to help raise funds for Tampa Bay Lightning centre Vincent Lecavalier’s charity foundation. At the same time, Smith made a friendly wager with Ryan Malone, another former Lightning teammate, as to who would cut his hair first. “So far, it’s a tie,” quipped Smith, whose bushy head of hair is approaching Mike Commodore levels from 2004, during the Calgary Flames’ run to the Stanley Cup final against Tampa. In fact, the only hair that Smith has lost in these playoffs came when an errant skate clipped off a lock or two, during a scramble around the net. “I did get a little bit of a trim there,” acknowledged Smith, with a grin, “but I don’t know if that counts as losing the bet or not.” Eric Duhatschek
BY THE NUMBERS
Number of wins on the road during the 2012 playoffs for the Los Angeles Kings, against zero losses. The Kings have a chance to extend their perfect record Tuesday when they face the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., in Game 2 of the Western Conference final. The Kings are just the fifth team in NHL playoff history to win their first six road games, and are one short of the NHL record for most consecutive road playoff wins in a single year – set by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, when they won the Stanley Cup.
GAGNÉ READY FOR HITS
Los Angeles Kings forward Simon Gagné has reportedly been cleared for contact in practice for the first time since suffering a concussion last Dec. 26, nhl.com says. However, according to the L.A. Kings Insider blog on the team’s website, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said Gagné will not be joining the team in Arizona, where the Kings are playing the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference final, and is still a long shot to return this season. Lombardi told the blog that Gagné is a “long way from playing,” and that he “needs to get hit.” Quebec-based lapresse.ca was the first to report that Gagné, who had 17 points in 34 games this season before getting injured, has been cleared for contact.
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