Not shaving during the playoffs has become a tradition in the NHL. The players participating in the playoffs have taken to not shaving until they lose in some sort of weird superstition.  Some players grow great beards while others look like 12-year-olds (Hello, Sidney Crosby!). It’s always fun to see which players will grow the biggest and best beards.

I picked my favourites from 10 different playoff teams. Here is the list in no particular order of the ten best 2011 playoff beards:

1)  Paul Mara: Team: Montreal Canadiens. Position: Defence. Montreal faced off against Boston in the 1st round.  They lost to them in a tightly contested 7 game series. Mara came to Montreal for his second go around with the club in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks late in the 2010-11 season. He was to be an insurance policy on defence. Mara had a head start as he already had a beard before the playoffs began.  He only played one game but his beard made quite an impression. The best way to describe his look is a human toilet brush.

2)  Shea Weber: Team: Nashville Predators. Position: Defence. His team made it to the Western Conference semi finals so he had two rounds to grow his beard. The Predators lost to the Vancouver Canucks. His beard was heavy and full. Bigger and bushier than most. Almost lumberjack-like.

3) Henrik and Daniel Sedin: Team: Vancouver Canucks. Position: Centre and wing. Identical twin red beards! Need I say more? The Canucks made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to Bruins in 7 games. It was a disappointing ending to a promising season.

4) Ryan Malone: Team: Tampa Bay Lightning. Position: Left wing. He had a beard during the regular season but extra points for growing a bushy, bushy moustache. His team made it to the Eastern Conference finals before losing to Bruins. Underrated player and beard.

5) Todd Bertuzzi: Team: Detroit Red Wings. Position: Right wing. Spent playoffs looking like an unkempt, homeless guy. The lack of teeth help complete the look. Total Unabomber look. His team did not make it as far as they usually do but his beard was still impressive nonetheless.

6) Zdeno Chara: Team: Boston Bruins. Position: Defence. Biggest NHL player equals a big beard. Clean shaven he looks like an angel with a beard like a devil. Extra points for being a Stanley Cup champion.

7) Niclas Wallin: Team: San Jose Sharks. Position: Defence. A pro at growing facial hair. It’s thick, covers a lot of his face and even covers part of his neck. He has gone all out.

8) Scott Hartnell: Team: Philadelphia Flyers. Position: Left wing. Hartnell’s beard is legendary. He definitely belongs in the playoff beard hall of fame.

9) Karl Alzner: Team: Washington Capitals. Position: Defence. Just wonder how great it would have been if the Capitals hadn’t been swept out of the semi finals. Might have stepped into Mike Commodore territory.

10) Pascal Dupuis: Team: Pittsburgh Penguins. Position: Left wing. Team only made it to the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Good coverage but not unruly. Nicely manicured.