In a phrase that seems more at home in a Woody Allen humor piece than a daily newspaper, New York Times sportswriter Dave Caldwell presents the following dumb gem:
"And now Dubinsky’s mustache is being regarded by the Rangers as a talisman…"
The story humorously seems to credit New York Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky's mustache with mystical power, citing a flukey go-ahead goal by the 24-year-old in the closing moments of game three of the Rangers' Stanley Cup quarterfinal game against the heavily favored Washington Capitals on Sunday.
But what it fails to do is address other players in the NHL, and if their similar, 1970's porno-looking mustaches are bringing their respective teams any luck.
So do mustaches bring postseason luck in the NHL? Lets take a look around the league:
NEW YORK RANGERS: Game winning goal and D'artagnan-looking lip sweater aside, Dubinsky's Rangers had fallen into a two games-to-none hole in their first two matches against the Capitals, while managing to score only slightly over a goal per game over the entire series. Dubinsky's game winner was impressive, but the Rangers' mustache-based success is limited by center Brian Boyle, who is also sporting a playoff 'stache for the Rangers, and he's been held scoreless over the course of the series.
Mustache Factor: EVEN
Tim Thomas, the star goaltender for the Bruins, Michigan native, and frontrunner to win the Vezina trophy for best goaltender of the year has a playoff mustache best described as a "rancher" or possibly even a "Do you know why I pulled you over today?" His play during the regular season was phenomenal, but so far in the postseason, Thomas has gone 1-2 and looked decidely beatable, even in the game he won, letting in one soft goal from a bad angle and another between his legs.
Mustache Factor: POOR
Facing Thomas at the other end of the ice is Montreal's Carey Price, whose delicate, wispy playoff mustache invokes the mental image of a young Inspector Clouseau, and as it grows thicker, threatens to become something perhaps on par with Phil Collins' stache from "And The Band Played On." So far in the series, it is Price whose mustache appears to be the winner. The Canadiens hold a two games to one lead on the Bruins, Price has stopped 86 of 90 shots faced over the series, and shut them out in game two.
Mustache Factor: STRONG
As a closing note, last season in the playoffs, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller shaved his traditional playoff beard down to a mustache after a loss in game four to the Boston Bruins, hoping that the change of pace would bring some luck. Sadly, his "mustache ride" (I had to. I'm sorry.) ended shortly afterwards. The Sabres fell to the Bruins in six games.
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