Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wonders about the tradition of NHL playoff beards: "I always wondered why the NHL would want its finest athletes to look this way at the most watched time in the game. . . . It just looks like a convention of young lumberjacks, fresh from a magazine ad. It doesn't in any way enhance the league, its image, or anything else for that matter." . . . I have thought the same thing about major junior hockey for a number of years. Young men trying to grow beards doesn't do a thing to enhance the product. . . . R.J. Currie, from sportsdeke.com: "Police in Kemah, Texas, arrested a man who was riding a unicycle while naked. Motorists said he was signalling turns inappropriately. Others reported a crack-up." . . . Currie has a theme song suggestion for the New Jersey Devils' playoff run: "He ain't heavy, he's my Brodeur." . . .
Jason Strudwick, who was part of the Kamloops Blazers' Memorial Cup-winning teams in 1994 and 1995, has told his latest team, Södertälje of Sweden's Allsvenskan, that he is retiring. The Edmonton native, who will be 37 on July 17, had nine points in 29 games this season. Strudwick, a third-round selection by the New York Islanders in the NHL's 1994 draft, played the previous three seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. His NHL career comprised 674 games, split between the Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and the Oilers. . . . Corey Hirsch, another former Blazers player, and his wife, Sheila, became U.S. citizens on Friday. Corey is the St. Louis Blues' goaltending coach. They live in the Phoenix area with their three children. . . .
Here's Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: "Actual words uttered from the Situation Room by CNN's Wolf (The Drone) Blitzer: 'Coming up: The latest thoughts from a terror mastermind who's been dead for months!' " . . . One more from Judd: "Costco says it wants to boost online sales to supplement its already booming warehouse-store business. Great idea. Here's another: How about requiring invasive Canadians to buy all their stuff that way? Multiple problems solved." . . . Somehow I really got hooked on The Killing, a cop drama that is set in Seattle and appears Sundays on AMC. But, sheesh, it sure seems to rain a lot in the Emerald City. . . .
After fans at Fenway Park booed Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal scribbled: "Boston is a volatile place to play, and eventually turns on everybody. Had they been around today, Paul Revere and his horse would have wound up getting traded to the Marlins." . . . The New York Yankees and the Red Sox have been holding down the last two spots in the AL East of late. The last time they've been in that position after May 1? How about Sept. 19, 1992. . . . The best part of the NBA playoffs has to be the analysts. Hubie Brown, Jeff Van Gundy and Steve Kerr are nothing short of excellent. . . .
Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: "If I had an Olympic torch, I'd make it into a hood ornament." . . . Ostler also has a message for the New Orleans Saints: "Fellas, the football world has been laughing at you over the bounty business. Now you're going to leave an empty seat on team flights and in meeting rooms to honor suspended coach Sean Payton? Really? If you want to honor Payton on team flights, offer a bounty for tripping the flight attendant when she comes down the aisle with the drinks." . . . Whenever I watch an NHL playoff game I am left to wonder exactly what is the definition of "cross-checking" these days. . . .
Michael Hurley, of CBS Boston: "There is losing with grace and class, and there is losing in disgrace. Congratulations, Phoenix Coyotes, for choosing door No. 2!" . . . You may have seen or heard Coyotes captain Shane Doan after his side was bounced by the Los Angeles Kings. "How do you miss that?" Doan moaned to reporters after Game 5, referring to a hit by L.A's Dustin Brown on Phoenix defenceman Michal Rozsival. "I mean Rozy's knee's blown out. How do you miss that? How do you miss that when it's after the whistle and it's a knee? How can you possibly miss that?" . . . When all was said and done, it turns out Rozy's knee is only bruised. . . . Just like Doan's credibility. . . .
Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: "It's amazing that the same (Roger) Clemens bouncers who tried to intimidate me when I was down in Washington for Clemens' testimony in front of Congress are still yelling at reporters from this newspaper outside the courtroom. But having met the guys, I wouldn't really expect them to be fast learners." . . .
You may be aware that there were six NBA/NHL playoff games at Staples Centre in Los Angeles last weekend. What you may not know is that you could have gotten into all six games for US$141. That's right. Had you bought the cheapest seats from StubHub, $141 would have had you in the house for all six games. . . . Len Berman at ThatSports.com would love to see one sport returned to the Olympic Games. Live pigeon shooting, he notes, "was competed once at the 1900 Paris Olympics. Granted it was quite messy, but I'd advocate just announcing its return . . . just to hear PETA's reaction."
(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at firstname.lastname@example.org, gdrinnan.blogspot.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears on Saturdays, except when it doesn't.)