NHL Playoff Predictions 2011: 20 Players Who'll Grow Sweet Playoff Beards

April WeinerCorrespondent IApril 11, 2011

NHL Playoff Predictions 2011: 20 Players Who'll Grow Sweet Playoff Beards

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begin this week and each first round matchup looks to provide entertaining hockey.

    If that's not enough for fans though, it also is the beginning of the league-wide Beard-A-Thon. It’s a tradition in the NHL once the playoffs start to not shave until either your team loses or wins the Cup.

    It’s always fun to see which players will grow the biggest and best beards and the ones who can barely grow anything (we're looking at you Alexander Semin).

    Then, there's the in-betweens: the players that grow some, but it comes in patchy areas (Sidney Crosby being the obvious example of this).

    This list is going to focus on the fullest beards: the guys who look like they could step off the ice and onto a Brawny label. 

    Here are 20 players who will grow awesome playoff beards this year.

20. Chris Drury

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    The New York Rangers found out this weekend that they will be the eighth seed in the playoffs, thanks in large part to contributions from their captain Chris Drury.

    Another notable contribution of Drury's: his playoff beard.

    It probably won't come out as well as in the picture unless the Rangers can make it past the first round or two of the playoffs, but anything is possible.

19. Rob Niedermayer

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Niedermayers can grow awesome playoff beards. Elder brother Scott obviously grew one of the best ones, even with the gray hairs interspersed in it.

    We'll be without Scott Niedermayer's beard this year, as he retired last summer.

    Luckily, we will still have the younger Niedermayer, Rob, to fall back on. Rob now plays for the Buffalo Sabres.  

18. Nigel Dawes

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Nigel Dawes' team may have changed (he now plays for the Montreal Canadiens), but I'm assuming his ability to grow a full beard has not.

    By the looks of it, Dawes will grow a pretty nice beard this playoff season.

17. Ed Jovanovski

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    When Ed Jovanovski grows a beard, it makes him look distinguished.

    He could look even more distinguished if Phoenix can go far in this year's playoffs.

16. Rick Rypien

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This picture isn't the best reflection of Rick Rypien's playoff beard, however you can see a glimpse of the fullness.

    If Vancouver does well in the playoffs, as expected, he'll grow an even better beard.

15. Shea Weber

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    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    Shea Weber has been able to grow a respectable beard, despite not getting past the first round.

    Imagine what it could be, if they went farther, although that may not happen this year since they're facing Anaheim.

14. Brooks Laich

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Brooks Laich's beard comes in red, which makes it awesome.

    This means that he's rocking the red, along with fans.

13. Brian Campbell

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Brian Campbell had one of the best beards on the Chicago Blackhawks by the end of their Stanley Cup run.

    The Blackhawks just made the playoffs, which means we'll get at least one series to watch Campbell's beard come in.

12. Todd Marchant

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Todd Marchant can grow a nice beard, as evidenced by the picture.

    We'll be treated to his this postseason as well.

11. Joe Thornton

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    After the San Jose Sharks' season ends, Joe Thornton will return to his job as a lumberjack.

    All kidding aside, that's a pretty awesome beard.

10. Kris Draper

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    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Kris Draper has an awesome beard.

    Enough said.

9. Brian Gionta

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Brian Gionta can grow a pretty good beard.

    This picture does not do it justice.

8. Kimmo Timonen

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    I never would have expected Kimmo Timonen's beard to come in as full as it does.

    I first saw it last year during a press conference. I didn't even recognize him at first. It's an awesome beard.

7. Todd Bertuzzi

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    That's Todd Bertuzzi and his beard.

    I guess we've found the Brawny man.

6. Karl Alzner

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    Karl Alzner's awesome beard is unexpected since he's so young. This was his beard from the Calder Cup playoffs in the AHL.

    He'll easily have the Caps best beard this year.

5. Roberto Luongo

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    That's Vancouver Canucks' goaltender Roberto Luongo showing off his beard.

    Imagine how much better it will be Vancouver reaches the SCF, as a lot of people expect them to.

4. Henrik Zetterberg

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    Henrik Zetterberg is the last Red Wing on the list.

    The Red Wings, in general, have great playoff beards and Zetterberg is no exception.

3. Ryan Malone

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    We haven't gotten a chance to see Ryan Malone's beard in a couple years since the Lightning haven't made the playoffs.

    Luckily they're there this year and we'll get to see Malone's beard again.

    .

2. Max Talbot

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    Max Talbot truly has one of the greatest playoff beards of all time.

    Not the greatest though.

1. Scott Hartnell

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    Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

    That honor belongs to Scott Hartnell.

    That face will haunt children's dreams.