Last year, I did a piece called Playoff Beard Comparisons. You loved it, I loved it, Best Week Ever loved it. It was a good ol' fashion internet firestorm, kind of like what happens whenever Erin Andrews sneezes, and I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all.
Well, it's that time once again. Playoff beards are blooming on NHL players like spring flowers and the Sharks are making their annual early exit. It's a great time to be a hockey fan! (Offer not valid in San Jose.) The beards, the high tempo hockey and, oh yeah, the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup. It's good to be a hockey fan in May. Today, we're here to discuss the most important things in hockey right now. Not Sidney Crosby's boyish good looks. Not Elisha Cutherbert's new boyfriend (although that could be fun). Playoff beards. Let's go to it!
Our first contestant today is none other than Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers. Mr. Jagr has since departed for the golf course, along with his Ranger teammates, but his playoff beard still lives on as one of the best ever -- if only for it's English creeper-rapist style.
This beard, my friends, is why I am proud to present to Mr. Jagr our award for Creepiest Playoff Beard of the Year. You Mr. Jagr, above all others, achieved great success in the field of 'looking like a creeper-rapist'. For your brave efforts and ingenuity, please enjoy this commemorative plaque and a guest appearance on America's Most Wanted.
Next, we present the award to the player who looks most like a muppet. This doesn't really have anything to do with beards, but that doesn't really matter. It just so happens that Marian Hossa of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks a little bit like Beeker. Hey, this isn't a bad thing either. We love muppets!
Congratulations, Marian. I look forward to seeing you in the next Muppets movie!
Of course, some stars declined to go with the bearded look. This is, in fact, a recent photo of Colorado's Joe Sakic. Joe? What happened? Where's your beard? Sakic is one of the greatest ever to play, but did not partake in the tradition of bearding himself up. I'm disappointed Joe. I'm disappointed. Maybe if you had one, your team would still be playing right now.
Our next contestant is Derian Hatcher of the Philadelphia Flyers. Derian went for a wilder look this year, with curly hair and a big ol' beard. Well done, Derian. Well done. Hatcher's look alike? None other than our friends from GEICO Insurance. And we mean that with the utmost respect. I mean come on, how can it be bad to look like someone with his own TV show?
Our next contestant, who missed out on the competition last year, has really outdone himself. He has pulled off a double whammy. He has married Willa Ford while looking exactly like David Arquette! Now that's an impressive combination.
This next beard is an absolute work of creative genius. Colorado's Ben Guite might not be the best player on the ice, but when it comes to creativity with his beard, he is well ahead of the pack. He's taken on a tough subject, Lemmy Kilmister from the heavy metal band Motorhead, but I think he's passed with flying colors. The only issue is that we can't really see if there's long hair under that helmet! For his work, I am proud to announce that Ben is the recipient of the award for Innovations in the Field of Playoff Beardery. Sorry Ben, we weren't creative enough ourselves to come up with a plaque for you.
And finally, we get to what you've all been waiting for -- the MVB. The Most Valuable Beard. This one clearly took a lot of planning and a little eccentricity. Now this guy is a great hockey player on the ice. That's no secret. He's so good that he was recently drafted by the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. This guy may not have come through on the ice as his team didn't even make it through the first round of the NHL playoffs, but when it comes to beards, he came through for his fans with flying colors. His impression of the unabomber is second to none.
Without any further ado, I am proud to present the MVB of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs to Alex Ovechkin for his unabomber-styled beard! And we do know for sure that Alex isn't a crazed, murdering psychopath. Congratulations Alex!
Thanks for coming to the 2008 BMR Playoff Beard Awards, folks. I know it must have been hard for you to get through since I know how much you complain whenever you have to read more than 250 words. So if you've made it all the way through, congratulations and please drive home safely. We'll see you next year!