Yesterday afternoon, the Philadelphia Flyers topped the rival Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals . What does this mean? Obviously, the Flyers will advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is awesome. But, it also means, I have to stare at my coworker’s ridiculous playoff beard for another two weeks, at least.
Most sports fans can identify which athletes routinely relied on their lucky shorts, chicken or chalk to prepare for a contest, but where did the playoff beard come from? The tradition began in the 1980’s and was started by the New York Islanders during the franchise’s glory days, when they won four consecutive titles from 1980-1983. It is not definitive, however, if the practice began as a superstition or simply because there was no time, as games were played on consecutive nights.
The ritual of not shaving from the time you enter the playoffs until the point of elimination has trickled down into college and high school hockey, but also across all other sports. The trend became so popular, in 2009 the NHL Beard-a-Ton was started to raise money for team-specific charities and has since raised in excess of over one million dollars.
These are just a few of our favorites...who grew your favorite playoff beard?