I will admit my bias up-front: I have always hated the NY Islanders. Other than admiration for the skills of Mike Bossy and tremendous respect for Clark Gillies, I never liked much of anything about the franchise. Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, the horrible Gorton's Fisherman logo they adopted for a while, Long Island in general. Ugh.
So, with the genesis of the playoff beard coming from the Islanders, I never liked it much in the first place. When it first started to gain traction, it was easier to ignore, but now that it's become nearly ubiquitous for the past decade, it's become one of those things that evolves from a quaint inside practice to a horrible overexposed cliché. Just like Kim Kardashian, you wonder how on earth it ever became popular in the first place.
It's just like the Gatorade dump in football; when even Boise State starts doing something, it's time for the rest of the world to move on. The same goes for the playoff beard. Stop it. Seriously. Other than Santa Claus and Chuck Norris, no one looks good in a beard, but especially not dudes like Sydney Crosby and Martin St. Louis who can't even grow full beards. Their beards are like facial kudzu. Every time I look at pictures of Crosby sporting that chin slinky all I can think of is an Amish kid in his awkward-teen phase. As much as I love St. Louis, his playoff beard looked like someone paused the "Teen Wolf" DVD in mid transformation.
Recent hockey bandwagon fans will claim it's tradition. No, it's not. Nothing started in Mall Island in the 1980's can ever be considered tradition. Hockey's tradition goes back to before World War I, not to the Bergdorf Goodman parking lot in Massapequa. As with the Macarena and, more recently, Twitter, just because everyone's doing something, it doesn't make it right.
Gordie Howe didn't need a playoff beard. Guy Lafleur didn't need a playoff beard. Cam Neely didn't need a playoff beard. And, so, Sidney Crosby, neither should you.