(Eds: With AP Photos.) By JOHN MARSHALL AP Sports Writer Mike Smith's frizzy curls jut out from underneath his backward-turned cap in clownish proportions. His beard, which he got a pre-playoff head start on, is spotty up top and trails down his neck like moss.
And those suits he wears, wow: red, plaid, you name it, usually accentuating his long, lean frame.
See him enter or leave a hockey arena and there's no doubt that, yes, he is the goalie. The guys between the pipes are, after all, known for being quirky and Smith's appearance would certainly put him in that category.
But that's where it ends.
What makes Smith stand out is his ability to blend in.
No superstitions. No brooding behavior. No eccentricities like talking to the goalposts or showering between periods. No ramblings about the universe, as his predecessor did earlier this season.
Smith is just a dude, one of the guys, a part of the team, not a separate entity from it - and his teammates love him for it.