(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 Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks are the last teams standing for the Stanley Cup in 2013.
Here’s a guide to the most memorable facial follicle features of the championship round:
The Double Trouble
Boston: Adam McQuaid - The beard. The hair. The slapshot from the point.
Bruins D-man and Foxy Friday Honoree, has got the perfect playoff combination going. Gone is his incredibly sexy mullet (yes, we called it sexy) but in its place is a haircut so fantastic that it deserves a spot on the cover of GQ, or at least a starring role in a shampoo commercial.
The beard might not be completely full but with a jawline like that, you don’t really need much. Just let it go and watch the magic happen. The whole look is just so effortlessly effortless that we can only sit back, smile and admire.
Chicago: Patrick Kane - Patrick Kane is the guy our parents warned us about.
They might be willing to overlook his oft-photographed past – they were kids once, you know - but when Kaner shows up with a curly mullet, stripe-shaved temples and a beard growing up to meet them, he’s one denim vest and a Camaro away from Dad shutting the door in his face and grounding us for life.
PK is bald where he should have hair and has hair where he should not – it’s inexplicable and unforgettable. We’ll just be upstairs, slamming doors and crying over our Official Collector’s Edition of The Outsiders.
The Weird Beard
Boston: Jaromir Jagr - Like there ever was another choice.
Much like last year’s Stanley Cup Beard, Jags has got this weird beard down to a science and we appreciate that he took the considerable time and effort to trim in up right for Media Day.
Does he look a little crazy? Sure, but do you want to tell him he can’t do that? He’s your zany old uncle who says whatever he wants and gets away with it. You simply nod, shrug and exclaim “Oh Uncle Jaromir!” (Cue sitcom tin-canned laugh track.)
Chicago: Jonathan Toews - Let us offer an educated guess: Jonathan Toews practices his staring contests in the mirror. In the process, it appears Tazer has seared the mustache right off his own face. Nothing could grow properly under those conditions. The sides and chin are not directly exposed to the gamma radiation of his gaze, so that hair continues to grow unabated.
Beware creeping toward the front, Beard. There is more serious staring to be done and Toews will win again, he always does.
The Woolly Bully
Boston: Zdeno Chara - No BeardWatch can truly be complete without mentioning Zdeno Chara, for his is a beard like no other. This is so lush, full, and mantastic that we don’t even know notice what is going on with his hairline.
This beard, much like his devastating slapshot, strikes fear into the hearts of its opponents. He’s a large black bear - you want to reach out and touch the luxurious pelt. But don’t. You might lose a hand.
Chicago: Nick Leddy - Black sheep? We love ‘em. Nick Leddy’s wearing a curly, burly skein of wool into the Final. This beard had depth and drama, it’s impenetrable by light and cold and is probably waterproof to boot.
Like the perfect playoff team, Leddy’s beard is built for the season, goes away for summer and starts fresh next year.
The Dr. Pepper 10 (The Manliest Low-Calorie Beard)
Boston: Johnny Boychuk - Get this man a tree-bark snack and a eagle perched on his shoulder STAT! This is a formidable lumberjack beard. Johnny has been out in the Yukon, working his way up and down the logging road trying to make some money to send back home to Ma and Pa.
Being so far away from civilization with nary a razor or mirror in sight, he’s let nature takes its course. The result is this grizzled, unshorn cacophony of facial hair so mighty that even his face cannot contain it.
Chicago: Brandon Saad - Brandon Saad wanted to emulate Patrick Kane’s style, but his look is too complete. By the end of this series, Brandon Saad’s wilderness beard will be ready to spend its day with the Cup in the forest, using the shiny surface to start fires for cooking fish he speared with a broken hockey stick.
It’s manly in an unkempt, devil-may-care way that both compels and repels us with promises of endless starry skies and eating lukewarm beans out of cans.
This beard could convince us of many things, except the appeal of Diet Dr. Pepper. Men can keep that crap.
The “Maybe Next Year” Beard
Boston: Tuukka Rask - Oh Tuukka.
Thank goodness you are much better at goaltending than you are a beard growing because this is an epic fail. We can’t, in good consciousness, really call it “beard.” It’s just a paltry collection of little chin hairs with no organization or purpose in life.
But wait - we just thought of something. Is your beard sparse because you’re using it to make a subtle (stubble?) statement about how few goals you’ve allowed these playoffs? Less goals allowed equals less hairs in your beard? Now this makes a lot more sense.
Chicago: Andrew Shaw - Andrew Shaw gets under opponents’ skin. What gets under his skin? Not a beard.
Shawzer is sporting what we like to call the “Scraggle Rock.” This beard doesn’t understand the concept of safety in numbers, instead opting to disperse across his face like grass on an abandoned lot.
Does it just need more time? Like triple overtime? Game winning goals trump beards, but these are the Finals, y’all.
If a beard isn’t a beard by now… maybe next year.
NHL video from Yahoo! Sports:
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