It goes without saying that hockey players need no encouragement to grow ridiculous facial hair. I have discussed the tradition of the play-off beard elsewhere in this blog and many NHL stars consider the art of shaving to be reasonably optional and certainly a long way behind taping your stick (not an euphemism) as a priority.
So Movember is a popular month among the icy set, with even Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg shaving back his now standard beard into a moustache that makes you pray that Zee either goes straight back to beard, do not pass Go, or shaves completely to look like he did as a fresh-faced rookie, as soon as December 1 ticks over.
Having said that, I was quietly disappointed that not a single Red Wing made a Puck Daddy list of the best Movember moustaches so far in 2011. Even Ty Conklin, the Wings’ second goalie, didn’t make it with his fabulous mo, pictured above. A travesty. As we Wings fans like to say: “Conk-blocked” again.
This also seemed like a good time to post a link to a list of the greatest hockey player moustaches of all time.
I have spent this month raising a small amount of money for charity with my own upper lip horror (donate here: it is for a good cause, including me shaving the bloody thing asap, having attempted to save male lives and proven my point). I have been truly shocked by how terrible I look with a mo. I never thought I’d look good but, man, this is one fashion statement that should be banned permanently, unless your name is Inigo Montoya (who I was recently likened to, in my one bright moment of an otherwise embarrassing month).
The good news is that on Sunday, when I skated, I was wearing my new helmet from Chicago, including a face mask, to somewhat hide the growth. Had such a good time, despite making a return to the Bang! footy that same morning so my legs were heavy before I even strapped on my new skates.
I hadn’t worn full armour since my last game, at the end of Intermediate, back in September, so it was fun to feel padded up and ready to rock. I spent a lot of the Stick & Puck session practicing passing with Will, watching rookies land hard on their butt, or having ineffectual shots on goal as the goalies eventually took pity and gave me some helpful hints. (“Hold the stick lower with your left hand, for extra flex and power.” … the next shot hit him in the throat. Thanks, mate!) and then an hour of General Skate, just zooming around. I really feel like The Bastard That Is The Pivot is edging closer to reliability, at least when turning left. I’ve stopped trying to step through it, and just twist on my left skate, like an inliner. Even at something above the slowest skating speed possible, my balance is holding up. Mostly.
The hockey stop remains elusive but I’m even starting to feel that. Of course, Will screeches around, stopping on one foot, winking to pretty girls. pen ever-ready for autograph signing, as I blunder around. Can’t wait until we’re allowed to officially “board” people in games, even if we’re on the same team.
Anyway, this is a long game and I’m still skating, and smiling, even if you can’t see the smile because of the curtain of fur. Once I shave this caterpillar below my nose for better aerodynamic windflow, I’ll be unstoppable. Just you see. (Eight days, and counting.)