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. Hurricanes Jerseys 2020 . 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. Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys .ca MLB Power Rankings, the third consecutive week that the As have held top spot and the third straight week that they have been one ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. Carolina Hurricanes Gear . Ribery terrorized the Schalke defence throughout and put the home side ahead in the 36th minute when he chipped the goalkeeper before stroking the ball into the empty net. The French winger struck again after the interval, combining with Thomas Mueller on the left before firing a deflected shot beyond the helpless Timo Hildebrand in the 55th, as Bayern bounced back from Wednesdays 1-0 loss at FC Basel in the Champions League.UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders traded veteran defenceman Andrew MacDonald to the Metropolitan Division rival Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday for a pair of draft picks and minor league centre Matt Mangene. The deal was announced one day before the NHL trade deadline and several hours before the Islanders played the Jets in Winnipeg. Philadelphia will host Washington on Wednesday night, following the afternoon dealing deadline. MacDonald will bolster the Flyers defence corps as they push for a playoff spot. Philadelphia, which also has former Islanders defenceman Mark Streit on the back end, is currently in second place in the Metropolitan, one point ahead of the New York Rangers and two points above the post-season cutoff. Streit, who spent time as MacDonalds defence partner with New York, was traded to the Flyers last June after serving as Islanders team captain. He then signed a four-year, $21 million contract less than a week after the deal, before he could become a free agent. New York is in a selling mode now, all but certain to fail in its bid to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season. The Islanders, who are last in the division, acquired a third-round piick in this years draft and a second-round choice in 2015, along with Mangene. Stitched Hurricanes Jerseys. The Islanders had arguably the top available defenceman and forward in this years trade market. Leading scorer Thomas Vanek, acquired earlier this season from Buffalo, also is expected to be dealt before Wednesdays deadline. The 27-year-old MacDonald, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, has four goals and 20 assists in 63 games this season. He leads the NHL with 198 blocked shots and is eighth in average ice time per game at 25 minutes, 25 seconds. In 295 career NHL games over six seasons, all with the Islanders, MacDonald has 17 goals and 72 assists. He was chosen by New York in the sixth round of the 2006 draft. Mangene, who will turn 25 on March 12, has three goals and three assists in 51 games this season with Adirondack of the American Hockey League. He was assigned to Bridgeport. Mangene played three seasons of college hockey at Maine, and had 16 goals and 34 points in his final season of 2011-12. He signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers in 2012 before being sent to Adirondack. In 92 career games with Adirondack, Mangene had 14 goals and 15 assists. ' ' '