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My Stanley Cup Beard Odyssey

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Alex Quigley

Former rock DJ, currently a multipurpose Chicago media guy.

The Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup Finals. My playoff beard has officially reached "no-fly list" status. I'm psyched.

First, I'd like to brag a bit about my hockey predictions. I nailed Hawks over Preds in 6, Hawks over 'Nucks in 6, and only missed the Sharks sweep by one game. (But since no one on Earth predicted Hawks in 4, I take it as a closest-to-the-pin win.)

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"Thunderblackhawks, HOOOOOOOOOO!"

But first I'd like to focus on my ridiculous playoff beard attempt. I'm 46 days in...easily double the previous record for "longest I've gone without shaving". And I'm still getting destroyed by Colin Fraser, Andrew Ladd, and Jimmy Greenfield. Full day-by-day pics are here, but if you just want the current product, check out the Four Beardsmen of the Cupocalypse:

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Head tilted to prove that yes, I have a beard.

I've been losing pretty badly in the reader voting throughout the competition, part of which I blame on the camera angle. (Part of it is that I'm not super-awesome at growing facial hair.) But I think the straight-on mugshot pic doesn't show the full forest of follicles funking up my face.

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So yeah, job interviews have been interesting lately. I can usually get to about three questions answered before security is called. By the way, if you read this and feel like texting "beard 4" to 87708 (it's free on our end), I wouldn't be upset about it. That's "beard 4" to 87708. I'm just sayin'.

MY PICK:

Obviously, there's no way I'm picking the Flyers to win this thing. The only things they have going for them is that they've taken down the 2nd-seeded Devils and came back big time against the 4th-seeded Bruins. The Blackhawks are signficantly better than either team. And although Flyers goalie Michael Leighton had a friggin' awesome three-shutout East finals against Montreal...those saves totals were 28, 30, and 17. Let's see with happens when he faces 40+ Blackhawks shots.

I think the Blackhawks have generally been either the best, second-best, or third-best team in the NHL all season long. And they're playing their best hockey right now. I'm thinking/hoping the Hawks remember how the Flyers stole their last regular season meeting with two goals in the last couple minutes (the friggin' game-winner was with 2.1 seconds left, aaaaah!) and that they don't suffer a letdown against an inferior opponent.

I just can't bring myself to call a Hawks sweep. But I will once again roll with BLACKHAWKS IN FIVE and feel totally fine if the Flyers indeed take two games.

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