St. Louis Blues captain David Backes tried a unique way to gain a competitive advantage on San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton.
Near the end of the first period of Game 1, Backes decided to tug on Thornton’s big, woolly beard. Thornton then tried to fight back by grabbing Backes’ much less developed facial hair.
It didn’t appear that either side won in this beard battle and eventually they let go.
Thornton’s beard is one of the most impressive in recent playoff memory.
According to the Globe and Mail, Thornton started to grow his beard in mid-December and hasn’t stopped. It has since turned into one of the longest beards left in the postseason – the other probably being the beard of teammate Brent Burns.
“Burnsy was kinda doing it so I thought, I’ll try it with him and here we are,” Thornton said in the story. “Mine’s big, but his is at a different level. His is really, really big. Mine’s much greyer than his. He calls me ‘the 1970 Dodge Charger, with the racing stripe down the middle.’”
Added Thornton, “I remember growing up, watching the  Flames win the Stanley Cup and seeing Lanny McDonald and all of their beards. I was thinking, ‘Oh wow. I hope I’m lucky enough to break through like that someday.’”
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer once fondly brought up how different the Sharks organization is from the New Jersey Devils, where he used to work. Former Devils GM Lou Lamoriello held a strict policy on facial hair. The Sharks clearly do not.
“I worked for Lou Lamoriello and you know his feeling, and it doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers Lou,” DeBoer said. “We were sitting for a team picture about three weeks ago. Burns was in front of me. He had the beard. He had the hair in a ponytail and I just said to (Danius Zubrus) who was standing beside me and asked, ‘What do you think Lou would do right now?'”
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