St. Louis Blues captain David Backes is known as a player you hate to play against, and he gave that title new meaning for San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday.
With a little less than a minute left in the first period, and the Sharks on a power play, Backes and Thornton got tangled up on the boards near the Blues bench. The two exchanged words before Backes thought it was necessary to check out Thornton's impressive beard, tugging on the long, bushy, gray patch of hair to make sure it was real and not just a prop used during the filming of "Lord of the Rings."
Thornton responded by trying to hold on to what Backes apparently thinks is a Stanley Cup Playoff beard but came up relatively empty-handed before the refs had to separate the two veterans.
The Sharks know how alluring Thornton's facial hair can be.
The Blues called Thornton out for apparently breaking the sacred rules of the playoff beard.
We'll have to give Round 1 of the battle of the beards to Mr. Thornton.