The tradition dates back at least to the Islanders' championship teams of the early 1980s, and playoff beards have become so ingrained in the game's culture that most players don't dare shave until their teams are eliminated, regardless of their ability to grow facial hair (see: Sidney Crosby).
Some superstitious fans even ditch their own razors in support of their favourite teams.
The head of NBC Sports, though, doesn't think playoff beards are good for the game.
"The players won't like this, but I wish they all would stop growing beards in the post-season," Mark Lazarus, whose network is broadcasting the Stanley Cup final in the U.S., told the Chicago Tribune. "Let's get their faces out there. Let's talk about how young and attractive they are. What model citizens they are."
"I know there are some traditions and superstitions that you can't mess with," he added. "But this is one tradition I could do without."
Who knew Mr. Burns was running NBC Sports these days?
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