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Stanley Cup Beard Watch: Exposing the NHL’s playoff scruff cheaters

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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(Ed. Note: We're proud to welcome back two of our favorite bloggers, Chuck and Pants from What's Up, Ya Sieve?, to the Puck Daddy fold as they author our weekly NHL Playoff Beard Watch every Thursday.)

By Chuck and Pants from What's Up, Ya Sieve?

The old adage says that “cheaters never win. ”

Maybe. But when it comes to hockey players with beards, everyone is a winner in our book ... even these grifters.

They might have gotten a jump start on the competition, but we ain’t mad, bro. We still appreciate and admire them all the same.

If you spy any other cheaters, or impressive playoff beards, Tweet them at #BeardWatch2013.

THE CHEATERS

1. Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

No use in denying it. You were rooting for the Sharks just so you could see where this beard goes.

The Undisputed Heavygrowth King of 2013 Roster Photos, Burns’ beard has set the Beard Watch 2013 standard exceptionally high. Burns is currently rocking a full-face fur that probably doubled in size and density while we were writing this. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a seven-game series, if only to see the lengths to which this thing can go.

This is our top contender. No surprise he’s already leading the Sharks player Beard-a-Thon donations. Where do we send our check?

[But don’t worry, Joe Thornton. Chuck sees your permabeard. And she still loves it.]

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2. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

This is not so much a cheat, as it is an important contribution to mankind. If you’re going to grow a beard, this is the one that you should aspire to.

Zata’s face is the Earth and this beard is the lush, verdant forest. We shudder to think that we almost didn’t get to see it. Luckily, the Red Wings did make the playoffs and we’re thinking that this beard had something to do with it.

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3. Mike Rupp, Minnesota Wild

Not only does Mike Rupp have an illegal head start on his beard, he has some grand plans for it. This “extended friendly chops” beard is known as the “Hulihee.” Which it turns out means “turn and flee” in Hawaiian.

But why, exotic vacation land, do you fear this beard? Don’t run away. Run towards it, arms outstretched. Preferably on the beach. In slow motion.

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4. Brian Strait, New York Islanders

At Boston University, we took a required Ethics class in which Pants totally cheated. We’re going to guess that fellow Terrier alum Brian Strait probably did the same. In the ‘09 NCAA Frozen Four, Strait’s beard was voted the best and last night, he took the ice with a beard already so fluffy it makes Wooly Willy’s magnetic face look lazy.

Despite his unfair advantage, it does guarantee that we’ll be seeing some an impressive show of follicle force regardless of how long the Islanders are in it.

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5. Mike Green, Washington Capitals

Is “estimating” considered cheating, or just optimism?

If it is, then Mike Green is a cheater.

MG52 started the season with the NHL’s second-most troubling beard (after Brent Burns), one that is still inducing cringes from the scoreboard at Verizon Center. You can imagine the rejoicing when when he scythed it into something less tempestuous.

Yet if this new T-shirt design posted to his Facebook on Wednesday is any indication, January’s beard will be back with a vengeance. We’re guessing by Game 2.

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