May 14, 2009
As the Chicago Blackhawks sit around and wait to see who crawls out of the wreckage of tonight's Game 7 between the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks (live blog tonight at 7 p.m. EST, by the way), it's about time we address one of the pressing issues of the 2009 Stanley Cup tournament: Jonathan Toews's(notes) playoff beard.
Well, "beard" might be pushing it. There seems to be some continental drift between the captain's sideburns and the hair on his chinny-chin-chin. What we're left with are the most famous chops in hockey outside of Iowa.
Blackhawks fans have taken notice, wondering if this actually qualifies as a playoff beard. (One fan even went as far as to wonder if Toews's facial hair is "just a marketing gimmick for the new crappy Wolverine movie.") In Bruce Ciskie's indictment of bad playoff facial hair (i.e. Sidney Crosby(notes)) on FanHouse, he claimed that Toews has "no ability to grow a passable playoff beard."
Sure, Toews might look like the founding member of an Arcade Fire cover band. But he's doing what he can, right? Hell, the dude looks like a post-flameout Joaquin Phoenix compared to teammate Patrick Kane(notes); we've seen Cabbage Patch Kids with better playoff beards than Kaner.
Still, there's also a part of us that wants to see the Blackhawks' image as the fresh-faced new kids on the block in the conference finals upheld. And there's nothing fresh-faced about a guy who's going to look like French statesman Jules Ferry by the time he collects the Conn Smythe. So, with that ...
Pass or Fail: The Jonathan Toews Stanley Cup playoff chops.