The New York Islanders are credited with starting the playoff beard tradition while they were sprouting four successive Stanley Cups (1980-83). Grown for luck and solidarity -- no player shaves until his team is eliminated, although he may apply the razor if his luck has run sour -- the look was exemplified by defenseman Ken Morrow, who was aptly nicknamed "Wolfman."
2 of 10Kevin C. Cox/WireImage.com
One of the all-time great looks was achieved by Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Mike Commodore, who looked like a roadie for the Blue Oyster Cult during his team's run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2006.
3 of 10Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Another classic look was sported in 1989 by Calgary Flames captain Lanny McDonald, who augmented his famous push-broom mustache with full foliage on his chin and cheeks. Kind of looks like he just climbed off a tramp steamer after two months at sea, doesn't he?
4 of 10David E. Klutho/SI
Alas, not everyone is capable of full growth, as attested to by the wisps on the baby face of Sid The Kid, who had apparently just reached shaving age when his Penguins won the Cup in 2009.
5 of 10Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Being eliminated early in the playoffs is also hazardous to one's whiskers. Ovechkin's Capitals went down in a first round upset in 2010, before the Russian sniper's face could fully go to seed.
6 of 10David E. Klutho/SI
Goaltending is hot, sweaty work made even hotter and sweatier by a full facial carpet, but it didn't stop the Anaheim Ducks' netminder from winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP in 2003.
7 of 10Rich Lam/Getty Images
Antti Niemi and Roberto Luongo
The Blackhawks netminder was in full flower at the end of the 2010 Western Conference semifinals in which he bested Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, who probably lost because he couldn't do better than a five o'clock shadow.
8 of 10David E. Klutho/SI
An element of biker bar menace is also desirable and the Sharks center achieved it, apparently with a face full of iron filings and his magnetic personality.
9 of 10Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Lou Capozzola/SI
Scott Hartnell and Simon Gagne
The Flyers won our 2010 Visigoth Award. Here are just two representative samples.
10 of 10Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Engineers of two stunning upsets, Les Habitants look stylish although Mr. Gomez there on the right is off to a late start. Teammate Mike Cammalleri was shockingly clean-faced by the start of the 2010 Eastern Conference Final, but one imagines he wasn't taking much flack. He scored 12 goals in the first two rounds.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!