(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?
We’re getting close to the end, and the biggest, baddest beards of this year’s playoffs are vying for their chance to reach the ultimate goal: full growth.
In this week’s BeardWatch, we give praise to the best of what’s still around in the Conference Championships, your current frontrunners for 2013 Playoff Beard of the Year.
Boston Bruins - Jaromir Jagr
When you’re tied for fifth all-time in playoff points, you can pretty much do whatever you want - including growing a beard like this.
The unconventional shape is clearly designed to distract us from the gray confluence on his chin, but it still makes him looks bad-ass. It’s so metal, we’re inspired to give it the devil horn salute. Add in the hair and #68 is ready to hit the road with the Spinal Tap Reunion Tour.
Jagr’s play has been strong and it was his tenacity against Malkin last night that led to Bergeron’s double-OT winner. If Bruins move on to the Finals, we’re pretty sure Jagr can crank this beard up past 11.
Pittsburgh Penguins - Pascal Dupuis
You thought we were going to say James Neal, right? Well this series calls for something more serious, and Pascal Dupuis is growing a pelt on his face.
The last two seasons, this beard has only had one playoff round to plant its roots. Here in the third round, we are reminded that Duper’s beard is wild and tangled like a thorny hedge, ready to claw it’s way up a mountain - and now it’s found one, in the Penguins 3-0 deficit.
By Friday night this beard could be so thick it meets Dupuis’ visor and encases his entire face in a protective shield. Perhaps buried somewhere in there is a rogue Q that explains why announcers keep calling him “Pasquale.”
Chicago Blackhawks - Johnny Oduya
Johnny Oduya seems like an honest, upstanding guy, but can someone please check that this beard is real? Give it a pull like a kid visiting Santa at the mall.
It’s almost too perfect: an optical illusion or those wool hats with the attached beard to keep the lower half if your face warm. Shape and color this ideal, manicured into such a shape, could win a landscaping topiary contest. He’d better keep grooming beacuse Nick Leddy and Brandon Bollig are catching up fast.
If these Hawks beards can find the Final, this could come down to a same-team Beard Off Battle Royale.
Los Angeles Kings - Dustin Penner
No BeardWatch would ever be complete without Dustin Penner.
Last year’s Beard of the Year, Penner’s ebony abundance is just reaching fruition. So awesome is its power that even in the Conference Final it has barely yet begun to beard. No need to rush. Sure his team is down 2-1 and he only has four points in the playoffs, but Penner intends to top the leaderboard with his tried and true facial fuzz.
His current thatch is so luxurious it even mesmerizes babies.