The playoff beard is a great NHL tradition. It allegedly started with the New York Islanders back in the early 1980s when they went on their run of four straight Stanley Cups, and it has continued in one form or another ever since.
The beard symbolizes solidarity among teammates and reinforces that the players won't shave until they have completed their mission of winning the most prized trophy in all of sports.
Even fans get into the act (see photo).
Here is a look at the 10 best playoff beards among the four teams still in contention for the 2012 Stanley Cup.