SAN JOSE- So we all know about the playoff beard tradition in the NHL. Many have credited the New York Islanders cup winning teams of the early 1980′s as the kick starters of this storied ritual.
But how bout we go deep into this beard thing, shall we?
Now everybody knows that Joe Thornton and Brent Burns can grow mad beards. But is there a particular day the Sharks are all going to shave before Game 1? Is Burns going to shave the beard he’s been rocking most of the season? Should some guys not even bother trying to grow a beard?
Tuesday I caught up with some of the Sharks to get their thoughts on the beards.
“I think you just [start it] when you want, whenever you’re feeling it” chimed Adam Burish.
“Some guys have a tough time growing one so they start earlier” added Joe Pavelski from the next locker over.
“Burnzie had to start early since he can’t grow one” deadpanned Burish, the team’s best talker. “Joe [Pavelski] is starting to kinda grow the facial hair.”
Pavelski quickly countered saying, “mine comes in thick, so I’m not afraid to shave it off the last game [of regular season] and start fresh.”
A lot of the guys sounded interested to see what Scott Gomez can do with the beard. Gomez usually has a thick soul patch but there were some doubters about the full beard in the room.
“Gomez, I’m looking forward to seeing this one” pondered Burish. “We’ll see how Gomez does. Marty’s is permanent, he is a year round beard. Logan, I don’t know about Logan. JD (Jason Demers), I don’t know about JD, I guess if you ask [him] he’d probably say he has the best one. [Gomez] probably shouldn’t try, he has a little trouble on top, so I don’t know how it’s going to work on his face. [T. J. Galiardi] should be cute, [he's] gonna be really cute. Boyle will have a lot of grey, [but] his wife is a hairstylist though so I’m sure she’s got some dye, some just for men.”
Speaking of Boyle, his thoughts on the beards:
“Everybody’s different, some guys, Burnzie and Jumbo [are already going], mines getting whiter and greyer so I’m going to have to keep an eye on it.”
What about players that will try but probably shouldn’t?
“There are a couple guys who can’t, that’s for sure.” joked Boyle. “Yeah I’d like to see what Scotty Gomez looks like.”
Arguably the biggest and most exciting beard sits next to Boyle at the Sharks practice facility, and just as Boyle was finishing up with his thoughts, Burns walked in.
So we’re all wondering, are you going to shave?
“Nope, this is it. This is what we’re going with” confirmed Burns on his already massive beard. “$#%! when it looks this good you don’t want to get rid of it.”
Anyone in particular that shouldn’t try to grow the beard?
“Coutch” responded Burns right away. “(Justin Braun) has a bad one. Yeah Gomer would be another one that would be interesting. Galiardi, he’s kind of a prim and proper kind of guy, nice to see him get a little rugged you know? I don’t think he can but we’ll see, it’ll be fun, it’s always fun.”
And for someone off the board, what does Tommy Wingels think about the beards? Shouldn’t they all start at a particular time?
“I always thought it started the day before the playoffs start, everyone got a fresh shave in. But some guys got some good ones going already and I guess they want to keep it.” responded Wingels. “I have very little facial hair, [but I'm going to try] if you want to call it trying yeah, but at the end of the playoff run it will be hardly noticeable. I got a baby face, nothing.”
Not sure he heard, but Braun was definitely getting some ribbing about his facial hair growth or lack thereof. Somebody in the room made a puberty comment. Does Justin feel he gets unfairly poked at for his beard growth?
“Not really not too much” responded the defenseman before going onto admit he does try every year. “I go for [a beard but] it’s a pretty poor attempt, can’t say I grow a very good beard, but I give it a shot.”
Any beard you’re really interested to see?
“I am looking forward to Burnzie’s, maybe it will be more like the end of the lockout by the end of playoffs.”
Wait, end of lockout, you mean the beard that led to this?
“Yeah I saw [the Chewbacca] it was pretty entertaining.”
Other important beard notes:
-You don’t see it often because of his mask, but dark horse for best beard has to be Antti Niemi, who can grow a mean one.
-Marc-Edouard Vlasic says he will shave after every round, it’s important because you won’t be able to tell otherwise. It’s actually a wise move by the defenseman. Baby faced Wingels, Couture and Braun might want to follow suit, if they don’t want continued puberty jokes thrown their way.
For more on the Sharks you can follow Andrew on twitter: @ViewFromBensch