Daily Cupcakes - Links From Around the NHL - May 15th, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 18: Ryan O'Reilly #37 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates his game winning goal in overtime with teammate Ryan Wilson #44 of the Colorado Avalanche as Dmitry Kulikov #7 of the Florida Panthers looks on at the Pepsi Center on January 18, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Panthers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The National Post has an article about defense in the playoffs.

They say defence wins championships, and this year in the National Hockey League they will be right. Shots are being blocked, sticks tied up, space and time taken away — it becomes an almost existential statement when you hear it enough times, which if you are paying attention to in the playoffs you do — and goals turned into precious metals, to be mined only in emergencies. It is a frozen NHL, just as spring arrives.

"If you defend hard, if you’re stricter, you give less opportunity for them to score, you will be much better off," veteran Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko says. "It’s percentages. It’s like Vegas; they’ll give you a comp room, and maybe you will win this time. But, in the long run, you’ll lose your shirt. So you go with the percentages."

Mike Smith isn't cutting his hair due to a bet, not a superstition.

Smith isn’t doing it because of a superstition, which was the most common theory. Instead, 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.

Some good news for Carey Price (and a fun little article).

Truth is, the 24-year-old is happiest during his off-season when he’s on the land, either ankles-deep in soil or hay or with some four-legged horsepower beneath him.

It was a very relaxed, pleasantly fatigued Price who was on the phone Saturday night, happy to report the compressed spine, sore neck and concussion that plagued him at the end of the Canadiens season are fully behind him.

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