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2014 Stanley Cup playoffs: The best beards found in the opening round

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The opening round of the 2014 edition of the Stanley Cup playoffs finished up on Wednesday. Goals were scored, celebrations were had, dreams were crushed and injuries were taped up and vaguely described to the media.

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Now as we enter round two, the field has been cut from 16 to eight. More hockey will be contested, more wars waged and more intriguing matchups are sure to be seen. But before we move past the opening round, we must first pay homage to its’ heroes.

No, not as judged on the scoreboard. That can be clearly viewed on stats pages and by the teams that are still left standing. Instead, tribute must be given to those who, despite it only being the opening round, managed to show mastery of all things facial hair.

Be it the rugged beauty of the untamed mountain man beard, or the devilish dapper of a well-maintained goatee; the recognition of the individuals found contained in this slideshow is more than merited.

So here it is…15 standout masters of fledgling follicle fortitude from the first round. As the playoffs get deeper, so shall the bushes that don these faces. Just as the intensity should ramp up, so shall the beardtisity. With that in mind, here is the first course. Keep a watchful eye on the playoff horizon through, as glory in hockey isn’t only found in the names forever etched on Lord Stanley’s cup, but also the magnificent manes adorning the faces of the brave warriors on the ice.