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It usually involves that kid who was in a wheelchair on Degrassi or some hashtag I do
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It usually involves that kid who was in a wheelchair on Degrassi or some hashtag I dont understand or something to do with Disney Jr. T. J. Leaf Jersey . But the word "beard" drew me in, and on upon further investigation I discovered that "peak beard" was about contemporary popular cultures threshold for beard wearing, and the notion that the age of the beard may be over. This seemed sacrilegious to me, because here in late April we sit on the precipice of the climax of beard season: winter is slowly receding and the NHL playoffs bring with them the greatest sports tradition of all-time, the playoff beard. Peak beard in April? Pfft. Thats like writing of December that weve hit "peak Santa", or of AC/DC weve hit "peak guitar", or of a wedding weve hit "peak open bar". As we settle into the first round of the playoffs, beards among NHLers are about to take form. We are awash in the infancy of stubble. In two months whichever teams are left battling will look like theyre en route to Bonnaroo post-pucks. It should be noted that Ive worn a beard since puberty allowed it, and a razor has insulted my cheeks just once in the past twenty years. I revel in playoff beards. They make me feel at home. I wear a playoff beard in August. And as we got through the first weekend of the playoffs a few days ago, which was also Easter, Id be remiss if I didnt mention the best playoff beard ever: Jesus. Dude rocked his beard into the post-post season, and according to scripture will still be rocking the playoff beard when he comes back. The story of the playoff beard is well known: It started some thirty years ago during the New York Islanders dynasty of the 80s. (For our younger readers the Islanders were once a good hockey team, before fishermen logos, Charles Wang, and Alexei Yashin.) No one is quite sure of its specific genesis, however. Some attribute it to two Swedish Islanders who were trying to emulate tennis star Björn Borgs custom of not shaving during Wimbledon. Some say that Islanders defenceman Ken Morrows beard led the charge. Whatever the story, the playoff beard has come to symbolize team unity, a badge of honour, and the fact that youve made a deep enough run to sport a thick brush from which you can hang livestock. In my years as a hockey fan, a few playoff beards standout. Scott Niedermayers greying old man beard, Mike Commodores ginger madness, and Lanny McDonalds wild west stache accompaniment immediately come to mind. In recent years, rules concerning the playoff beard seem to have turned lax. Shaving after a loss in effort to change a teams luck is seemingly allowed. Goatees, the beards answer to the haiku, are tolerated. Professional trimming is apparent (Im looking at you, Sedin twins.) Back in the day, when men were men and the Oilers made the playoffs, the rules for the playoff beard were simple: 1. Stop shaving.2. Win Stanley Cup or get eliminated.3. Start shaving again. In todays NHL, a new challenge faces beard-growing players. In the salary cap era, inexpensive young talent on entry-level contracts are important to the balance of a competitive team. Eighteen, nineteen, and twenty year-olds are key parts of many playoff teams lineups. Early in the first round, all players beards are equal. Its like a grade 8 dance. But come rounds two and three, how will Nathan MacKinnon, Olli Maatta, and Ryan Murray look should their teams be fortunate enough to make it that deep? Of course, a teams playoff longevity doesnt necessarily guarantee a healthy bearded player. When Tomas Kaberle won a Cup with Boston in 2011, the former Leafs defencemen still looked like a pre-pubescent child despite two months without shaving. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has won two Cups without any discernible upper lip growth, and Sidney Crosby still owns his "Sid the Kid" moniker with his patchy-coat-of an-electrocuted-dog fuzz. We cant all be Duck Dynasty-esque, but at 26 Crosbys beard is just plain sad. I have a better beard in my junior prom photos. Hell, my prom date has a better beard. And then theres the beards well never know. Can Dion Phaneuf even grow a beard? Can Phil Kessel? Can the Edmonton Oilers? We know they can schedule vacations for early April, play in the World Championships, and pick in the early first round of the draft, but theyll need to see past round one of the playoffs before we can judge their facial hair prowess. Sadly, methinks well never know. For now, I will rebel against notions peak beard, despite what Cosmo and The Daily Guardian are writing. The grand tradition of the playoff beard is just one of the many facets of the fight for the Stanley Cup that makes the NHLs postseason more compelling, more rich in narrative, and more entertaining than any other sport. So buy razor futures now, because the blades are sheathed for another two months, and may the best beard host the parade. Thaddeus Young Jersey .C. -- Ryan Sproul scored the winner late in double overtime to lift the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 2-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday in Game 1 of their American Hockey League playoff series. Bojan Bogdanovic Jersey . 1-9 on TSN. With more than 65 hours of exclusive live coverage, TSN delivers all the action beginning with Draw 1 on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p. http://www.authenticbasketballshoppacers...rs-jersey/ . Fabio Fognini pulled off a surprise 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray to level the best-of-five quarterfinal at 2-2 before Andreas Seppi defeated James Ward 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the decisive match. CARDIFF -- Fraizer Campbell scored from two second-half corners Sunday as newly promoted Cardiff stunned Manchester City 3-2 for its first top-flight victory in more than 50 years. Campbell put Cardiff up 2-1 against the run of play when he nodded home from two yards out in the 79th minute and then added a second from another corner eight minutes later to secure a massive upset in the teams first Premier League home game. Alvaro Negredo pulled a goal back in injury time but City couldnt find an equalizer despite a full six minutes added on. Well be the underdogs for a lot of the games this season but, as we showed, weve got great determination and hopefully thatll see us through," Campbell said. "The most special thing was getting the three points. When youre a promoted side, you dont want to wait too long to get any points on the board so today was a massive bonus for us." Cardiff is playing top-flight football for the first time in 51 years after being promoted last season, and even a draw against the heavily favoured City would probably have caused widespread jubilation at Cardiff City Stadium. A single point was what most fans wwere hoping for against a City team that beat Newcastle 4-0 last Monday to start its campaign -- especially after Edin Dzeko put the visitors ahead with a fierce strike in the 52nd minute. Lance Stephenson Jersey. But Aron Gunnarsson levelled for Cardiff by slotting in a rebound in the 60th and Campbell then did the rest to secure the biggest upset yet of the young Premier League season. City goalkeeper Joe Hart seemed to misjudge Peter Whittinghams inswinging corner and Campbell was on hand near the far corner to push it into the net from close range -- following a 10-minute spell where City had dominated possession completely. Campbells second goal was similar, although the corner came from the left this time as he escaped Pablo Zabaleta to head home what proved to be a historic winning goal. "We played against a very difficult team. They were with 10 players in their own box and it was very difficult for us to try to score," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "When we scored the first goal I thought we played a bit better after that. But their set pieces decided the match. It was just two corners that decided the game." 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