The spring playoff beards were sprouting for the Islanders on Tuesday.
Growing facial hair is an NHL playoff tradition, one many attribute to the Islanders’ four-time Stanley Cup winners from 1980-83. But president and Lou Lamoriello bans facial hair during the regular season, though he permitted his players to grow it both with the Devils and Maple Leafs.
“It’s kind of an unwritten rule,” right wing Jordan Eberle said of the Islanders starting to grow beards. “I’ve seen some of his teams in Jersey and Toronto, I’ve seen their beards go. I just assumed it was part of the process.”
Eberle’s face was already thickening with dark hair. Not all players can grow it so thick.
Defenseman Scott Mayfield rubbed at the short, blond stubble on his face.
“It’s kind of nice, let the face relax from the razors a little bit,” Mayfield said.
“When you think of playoff hockey, you think of guys getting greasy with the beards,” defenseman Ryan Pulock added. “It feels good to get that going.”
Rookie defenseman Devon Toews, showing no signs of facial growth, said he wanted his to get “long and really shaggy.”
Coach Barry Trotz is not growing back the goatee he had when he led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup last season. He’s already judged defenseman Nick Leddy to have the best beard.
“I might not recognize him by tomorrow,” Trotz said. “When we were out at practice, I thought it was growing.”
Penguins top-pair defenseman Brian Dumoulin (lower-body), out since March 31, and bottom-six forward Zach Aston-Reese (lower body) were full participants in practice for a second straight day and coach Mike Sullivan said they were “day-to-day…” The Penguins added goalie Tristan Jarry to their playoff roster, recalling him from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Tuesday to serve as a second backup behind No. 1 Matt Murray and Casey DeSmith, who are both healthy.