(Ed. Note: We're proud to welcome 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?
Back when we listed the most common playoff beard types, you may recall we included the "Maybe Don't" category. This is the circular file where well-intentioned and enthusiastic efforts are stored until perfect attendance awards are handed out. 'A' for effort and all that. Since then we have admired the burgeoning beauty of many beards.
Now that the playoffs are three weeks old, it's time to show cards on a few manscapes that are struggling to make the cut.
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
An exhaustive three minute Google search has proven our hypothesis - Nicklas Backstrom is growing an entirely new species of beard. No photos exist of it in the wild. It may be two separate beards, one on each side of his chin. Technically this would give him more beards than any other player, with the least amount of hair. Right? That kind of creative math that gets you audited in tax season.
It may not earn him the Beard of the Year, but Nicklas Backstrom will stand alone in this new beard category: The Imaginary Friend.
Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues
When a name invokes the awesomeness that is William Shatner and Capt. James Tiberius Kirk, you'd think that person's facial hair would be out of this world. Not so much here. This conjures up memories of the fake beard your mom painted on your little brother with her eyeliner pencil when he dressed as a hobo for Halloween. One hundred points to Shattdeuces just for being a Boston University Terrier, like us. But we're going to have to deduct 99 points for this wispy wishful thinking of a playoff beard. Jack Parker would not approve.
Jaromir Jagr, Philadelphia Flyers
We know you've won two Stanley Cups, five Art Ross Trophies, three Pearson Awards, and a Hart Trophy.
One trophy you won't be winning - Beard of the Year.
The muttons chops-to-moustache connection is pure 19th Century - a throwback to his cavalry days, perhaps. But the chin stripe? An attempt at aerodynamic modernization or a study in negative space design? It looks like Jagr took a heated match of Draw Something too seriously when he chose the word "umbrella." (And for only one coin.)
Radim Vrbata, Phoenix Coyotes
Someone else wants their own beard category, and we have to give it to Radim Vrbata: The Horseshoe. It started as a friendly endeavor - the mustache was growing in and all his whiskers were working toward the same goatee goal. But somewhere along his chin a fight broke out. Words were said, doors were slammed. The two sides crossed their arms in a huff and are no longer speaking to each other.
As the games pass and no hairs are prepared to compromise, this looks like an irreconcilable difference.
Andrei Kostitsyn, Nashville Predators
We can tell you what Andrei Kostitsyn was doing out late before Game 2 -- searching for the lab at Alkali Lake where Colonel Stryker reinforced his skeleton with adamantium.
The Wolverine is a disturbing trend in this year's playoffs (Marion Gaborik, Derek Stepan). Listen guys, every girl appreciates the superhuman bad boy with the heart of gold. But unless you accidentally shaved your mustache off with a retractable claw, there is really no place for this beard in our school.