Playoff beard preview
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We're betting Penguins overlord Ron Burkle won't make the same pledge Capitals owner Ted Leonsis made in the video below.
One of the allures of watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs is watching clean-shaven men progress from baby-faced cherubs into Jeffrey Lebowski... uh... the other Jeffrey Lebowski. The Dude. His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
So with a day left before the growing can begin, let us take a team-by-team look at who will grow the best playoff beards:
Maxime Talbot -- He's clearly one of the favorites considering he's been shaving since he was four. Odds: 3-1.
Ryan Malone -- On several other teams, he's probably the best option. But he's stuck behind Talbot on the Penguins' depth chart. Odds: 8-1.Jeff Taffe
-- A dark horse candidate. He could get some decent playing time should this team go deep. Not having any hair on his head makes his beard stand out. Odds: 25-1.
-- Morgan Spurlock would be jealous of that Fu Manchu. The Bruins aren't expected to go deep into the playoffs so Thornton's time to grow serious facial hair will be limited. Odds: 75-1.
-- Despite losing most of his hair and missing most of the 2001-02 regular season due to chemotherapy he was receiving for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, this guy grew a half-way decent beard in the 2002 playoffs and helped the eighth-seeded Habs upset the Bruins who were the top team in the Eastern Conference. Razors fear this guy. Odds: 15-1.
New Jersey DevilsJohn Madden
-- He kissed the Stanley Cup with that ratty-looking birds nest back in 2003. Odds: 35-1.
New York RangersChris Drury
-- A clutch goal-scorer and a clutch beard-grower. A perfect combo. Odds: 5-1.
Mike Commodore -- Normally, this would be a slam dunk. He's like a lumberjack version of Ronald McDonald. Commodore proudly wore that fine thing in runs to the Cup final with Calgary in 2004 and Carolina in 2006. In order to get his helmet on, Commodore had to dunk his head into the shower to soak that 'fro down. Unfortunately, Commodore's team situation isn't ideal. The Senators are a injured, splintered group. Odds: 20-1.
Steve Downie -- Downie actually is sporting a fairly decent five o'clock shadow in his mug shot on the Flyers' site. Odds: 40-1.
Washington CapitalsDonald Brashear
-- While with the Flyers, Brashear made a run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2004 and grew a pretty solid beard. Odds: 30-1.
Scott Niedermayer -- He came out of "retirement" to win the Cup again. So you know he's going to go all "Sean Maguire" with that beard again. Odds: 5-1.
George Parros -- Snoop Dog wore a replica of this guy's porn 'stache during the playoffs last year. That's all you need to know. Odds: Negative -130-1.Mathieu Schneider
-- Much like Talbot, this guy was shaving before he got to junior high. He doesn't really let it go all the way however and seems to trim it up a bit. Odds: 35-1.Jean-Sebastien Giguere
-- Normally we would not include goaltenders because you can't really see their faces behind their masks for the most part during the game. But Giguere grew a pretty mean beard when he led the Ducks to the Cup final in 2003. We'll make an exception. Odds: 40-1.
-- Again, we hate to go with a goaltender, but that fierce red beard can't be ignored. But his team is facing the hot Sharks. The Flames will be lucky to get out of the first round. Odds: 45-1.
Peter Forsberg -- He's another guy who came back from "retirement" to win the Cup. If the Avalanche goes on a long run, "Foppa" is capable of looking like a demented lumberjack. Odds: 25-1.
-- Zubov's been dealing with all sorts of injuries and he might not even dress for the Stars in their yearly first-round elimination. We're only choosing him because the Stars don't have too many other options (Mike Modano is too much of a pretty boy to grow anything more than a five o'clock shadow.) and Zubov has that shady, Russian cab driver look going for him. Odds: 80-1.
Henrik Zetterberg -- Even King Leonidas is impressed. Odds: 30-1.Tomas Holmstrom
-- He kind of looks like a drunk chipmunk. Odds: 50-1.
Aaron Voros -- We'll be honest with you. The Wild don't really have much potential in this area. We kind of threw a dart at this one and picked Voros. Odds: 100-1.
Greg Zanon -- If Zanon weren't on a team that wasn't going to get squashed in the first round by the Red Wings, he'd probably stand a better chance to grow a pretty mean beard. He's got the potential. As it is, he'll maybe get five games before he has to shave. Odds: 85-1.
-- Campbell has been to the Eastern Conference final the last two years with Buffalo. He was brought to San Jose to get them to the Cup. He has the ability to get his Lanny McDonald on. Will he have the playoff run to do it? Odds: 35-1.
Joe Thornton -- Thornton is a kind of guy you look at and wonder if he can lead a team to the Cup or if he grow a beard. You don't know which way to lean on him. He's the biggest question mark in this ordeal. Odds: 50-1.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Marian Hossa cares not for criticism of his postseason statistics.
-FSN Pittsburgh picked up a few of the Penguins' first-round games.
-Is Gary Roberts ready for the playoffs?
-Did the Penguins tank it Sunday? Vote on it here.
-Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has been cleared to play in the playoffs. He has been out of the lineup since suffering a head injury against the Flyers Oct. 27.
-Senators coach Bryan Murray is oh so pleasant as usual.
-The Confluence of the Three Rivers took a look at the Senators.
-Canadiens forward and former Penguin Alex Kovalev has a new commercial up in Quebec:
-Capitals general manager George McPhee is a patient man.
-The Lightning's season was pretty much cursed from the start.
-Panthers goon Wade Belak is digging South Florida.
-Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock pretty much told everyone on the team they have to earn their spot on the roster for next season.
-The Blackhawks and the White Sox agreed to a marketing partnership.
-Good thing NBC decided to stick with their "let's-only-televise-Red-Wings-Rangers-or-Penguins-games" formula. The meaningless Detroit-Chicago game they televised Sunday drew a season low. They should've used the Wild-Avalanche game that had some playoff implication in the balance. Minnesota and Denver are both good hockey markets.
-Already hurting on defense, the Wild took a nother blow when defenseman Nick Schultz underwent an appendectomy Monday. There is no timetable for his return.
-The Stars signed defenseman Nicklas Grossman to a two-year contract extension.
-The 2 Man Advantage somehow convinced Sharks forward Patrick Rissmiller to conduct an interview in a bathtub.
-Going Five Hole live-blogged the draft lottery.
-NHL prospect Alex Pietrangelo is dealing with a spleen injury. He is a cousin of former Penguins goaltender Frank Peittrangelo.
-Bobby Nadeau, that junior goaltender who was beat up by Patrick Roy's kid, explained why he didn't fight back.
-TSN ranked the top ten plays of the regular season:
(Rick Nash = sick.)
First Published April 8, 2008 7:52 am