Wednesday, June 6, 2012
|"Where's your beard?"|
Now, this is certainly blasphemy, because anyone with a working set of eyes can see that Penner's beard lords over all other beards, just as Weber's beard last year took on a "Madness? This is Sparta" quality that kicked all other beards into a pit of death.
Sorry, I hate to break it to you, but just because both players grew pretty gnarly beards doesn't mean they have the best playoff beards. That's because both had beards during the regular season. Of course their beards are going to be denser and richer than anyone else's, they had a head start. Don't believe me? Refer to this photo of Penner taken on April 2, 2012, more than a week before the playoffs began.
There's Penner, and what's that on his face? It looks like a full beard. Unless Penner is Teen Wolf, and judging by the current state of his beard that isn't out of the question, he already had a beard before the playoffs began.
Similarly, here's a picture of Shea Weber, taken in late March of 2011. He already had his full beard long before the playoffs. When did he start growing it? January? No wonder he looked like Sasquatch. At least Penner was keeping his trim.
If growing a beard during the playoffs is good luck, growing one before the playoffs should be bad luck. It is basically saying: "I'm not convinced my team can go far enough in the playoffs, so I'm going to start growing early so mine still looks badass." Shameful.
This is obviously serious business, so let's get to some ground rules. The rules are simple: For a beard's consideration, its owner could not have started growing it before the playoffs began. It's okay to start growing immediately after the final regular season game, so showing up to game 1 with some growth isn't a killer. However, photographic evidence of a full beard (ala Penner or Weber) in the final few weeks of the season is cause for immediate disqualification.
Fine, here's a picture of Penner just in case he actually is Teen Wolf and he's being disqualified unjustly.
www.nhlbeardoffs.com for some of the screen shots.
When Rick Nash gets traded this summer, it will mark the second great beard to leave Columbus. We know this because he grows it year-round, obviously aware that Columbus has no chance of ever making the playoffs. We also know that Jeff Carter grows a pretty mean beard, as this is his second Stanley Cup Final in three years. Carter didn't get the notoriety in 2010, getting beat out by teammates Claude Giroux and Simon Gagne, but with Giroux out in the second-round and Gagne playing mere minutes in the Final, this award is all for Carter.
The second-half of the disposed Flyers duo, Mike Richards, also had a healthy looking beard during Philadelphia's 2010 trip to the Stanley Cup Final, but was beat by Joe Thornton (who had a crazy beard this year, but was clearly ineligible on Penner grounds).
Clarkson seems like a bit of a maniac on the ice, his eyes flashing like Jack Nicholson in The Shining whenever something doesn't go his way. That's the type of personality that's usually prime for making fun of (provided he isn't murderous like Nicholson's character was), so I can just imagine the Devils trying to convince Clarkson he has a bit of a ginger beard. "GRAHHHH! GUYS, I already told you, IT'S LIGHT BROWN!" Calm down, Clarky, we know, we know.
Poor Andy Greene. Dustin Penner is getting all the beard glory, while Greene's masterpiece, which started from scratch on day one of the playoffs, isn't getting the accolades it deserves. This is one Grade A beard. If a hobo married the Boreal forest, this would be their love child.
D - Keith Yandle
A beard in the desert sounds like suicide. Kudos to all the Coyotes players who decided to grow a beard in 100 °F heat, which must be about as nice as wearing a parka to a sauna. Yandle grew the best beard of all the Coyotes, yet still managed to pull off a pretty clean look despite having hair everywhere.
Goalies are usually the hardest to crown, primarily because of the limited subject pool we're using. Plus, lots of goalies (i.e. Martin Brodeur) don't even grow beards, perhaps because the typical beard itch is intensified as a goalie mask rubs against it for 60 minutes. Other goalies (i.e. Tim Thomas) march to the beat of their own drummer and go with a moustache. In his first playoff appearance, Holtby went with the traditional beard, which shows impressive growth, particularly on his neck, which makes his beard seem like it's growing roots.
Honourable Mentions: Rob Scuderi, Justin Williams, Karl Alzner, Willie Mitchell