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RALEIGH, N.C. – When the NHL playoffs were about to start, Boston Bruins forward David Backes debated whether he should dispose of his razor.
“This is my ninth time in the playoffs and I’ve grown a beard each and every time,” Backes told USA TODAY Sports. “I have not yet been able to hoist the Stanley Cup. I was thinking, ‘Maybe this isn’t my superstition.’”
But tradition carried the day and Backes’ full beard is one of the best in the Bruins’ dressing room.
Growing beards is as much an NHL playoff tradition as late nights, overtime goals and playing through injuries. Most players embrace the ritual, even if their efforts look like dirt smudges on their face.
Bruins right wing David Backes calls a playoff beard a “badge of honor.” (Photo: Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports)
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“Given the history, you buy in,” Backes said. “It’s a badge of…