May 5, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker (16) celebrates his goal against Chicago Blackhawks in overtime in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Xcel Energy Center The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

For the Love of the Playoff Beard

It’s mid April and a wonderful time of year. The sun is shining, birds are singing and fresh green grass isn’t the only thing growing as the season for the traditional playoff beard is about to enter full swing. That’s right, soon we’ll be seeing Jonathan Toews’ classic muttonchops, Tim Thomas’ burly beard that looks like Yukon made the jump to real life straight out of the Christmas movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and Chewbacca’s “Brent Burns” look (wait, I may have gotten that one mixed up).

Since the New York Islanders dynasty of the early 1980s, the playoff beard has been the staple of superstition when it comes to winning championships. If the series is on the ropes, a slight trim may be just the ticket to getting back in the win column. Not only has the playoff beard spread to all levels of hockey played by facial hair-wearing manly men, it’s also become popular in baseball, football and, to a lesser extent, basketball.

Thick, shaggy beards are the best indicators of a long and successful playoff run. Every team does it because it’s guaranteed to work, but for just one team a year. With each win and eliminated opponent, that glorious badge of honor worn by every player on the team only further entrenches the bond of love and brotherhood that carries them on through overwhelming odds to the ultimate goal of hoisting the Stanley Cup.

However, playoff beards aren’t just for players. Here at Gone Puck Wild, we want to see your playoff beard in action as the Minnesota Wild join 15 other teams and fan bases in the battle for Lord Stanley’s Mug. You can either Tweet your pictures to us, share them to our Facebook page or e-mail myself ([email protected]) and we’ll pick the best beard to post for “Facial Hair Friday” every Friday through the end of the playoffs. Please be sure to include a first name and where you’re from. C’mon, Wild nation, let’s get our playoff beards on!

Tags: 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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