Hockey has always been a perfect combination of elements. Physicality, skill, speed not to mention pageantry and tradition. While some traditions are hard wired into the game we all love there are some that have developed "organically" over the years. One such tradition is the playoff beard. Hockey fans in 2017 are all too familiar with photos of their favorite players festooned with scraggly beards that in any other setting would be cause for concern.
Widely considered one of the coolest traditions in sports, it's believed to have started with the NY Islanders dynasty of the early 1980s. The Islanders, led by Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier, won the Cup 4 years in a row, establishing themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time.
Recently however, the beard growing season seems to have been expanded. Tired of early playoff exits and a lack of opportunity to grow their own playoff beards, the San Jose Sharks have kicked off a new tradition, The Regular Season Beard. It's a pale imitation of The Playoff Beard but it's sweeping the league and it seems that every team, including our beloved Kings, has at least one player that sports a soup catcher.
NOTABLE REGULAR SEASON BEARDS
Muzzin's chin strip game has gotten stronger as his career has gotten longer.
Possibly inspired by his teammate, Drew Doughty has joined the growing rank of players with Regular Season chin curtains.
The Islanders may be struggling to put up points, but Nick Leddy isn't struggling to keep his brillo pad healthy.
Savard may not grab headlines or put up massive points, but his whiskers are just as massive as the turnaround season the Blue Jackets are having in Columbus.
Jordy Benn & Patrick Eaves
Benn's red masterpiece would make a fantastic playoff beard. Sadly, the Stars seem determined not to make a lengthy run into the playoffs so there's no way to tell what month it is just by measuring Jordy's face fur. Meanwhile, Patrick Eaves looks like his beard ate Brent Burns.
Brent Burns & Joe Thornton
Brent Burns is unquestionably patient zero for this new trend. The meme of his transformation from baby faced prospect to All-Star Wookie has grown almost as much as the birds nest on his chin. Converting veteran Joe Thornton to his hirsute ways is almost as impressive as his legendary crumb catcher.
First Matchup vs. Islanders in New York
October 12th, 1972
LAK 2 - NYI 3
Most Recent Matchup vs. Islanders in Brooklyn
February 11th, 2016
LAK 2 - NYI 5
All Time Record vs. NY Islanders
324 GF/326 GA
All Time Record at Barclays Center
2 GF/5 GA