Hockey Hugs is a feature that celebrates the best in hugging from around the sport of hockey, because who doesn't love a good hug now and then? Have you seen a particularly good hug photo lately? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet it to @HarrisonMooney.
It's time for the final hockey hugs of the Olympic break, one last look at the best hugs the National Hockey League has to offer before the best players the National Hockey League has to offer -- minus Claude Giroux, Bobby Ryan, and Victor Hedman, inexplicably -- take their hugs overseas.
That's right. This is a midseason finale. You'd think we were AMC or something.
Before we start our countdown, a word on Brandon Prust and Rene Bourque's bro-snuggle up top: Prust is looking right into the camera. It's like he was trying to make hockey hugs. Do you think he knows about us? Guys, I think he knows.
I digress. Let's get started.
No. 6, Tampa Bay Lightning
After Nate Thompson's overtime goal, Alex Killorn gets shouty.
"NATE HOW ARE YOU."
"Dude. I'm right next to you."
"SO THINGS COULD BE BETTER IS WHAT YOU'RE SAYING."
No. 5, Detroit Red Wings
"Datsyuk's got soft hands, Henrik, but yours are softer."
"I'm gonna be honest, Justin. That's a really weird thing to say."
No. 4, Washington Capitals
All the Capitals love Dmitry Orlov because he's so strong he can lift two of them at a time.
"LIFT US BOTH! LIFT US BOTH! YAAAAAAY!"
No. 3, New York Islanders
Matt Donovan is the last one in a group hug during the game at Yankee Stadium, and then he's late to the party once again.
"Whoa guys! Guys! Did you notice we're outside right now now?"
No. 2, Montreal Canadiens
I love this photo because photographer Francois Lacasse didn't just capture the hug, which is there in the background. He caught David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty racing to join it. It's a great shot. It also sort of reminds me of that Sigur Ross album cover with the butts.
"Max! They're hugging! I want to go to there!"
"Hurry! We're missing it!"
No. 1, Boston Bruins
Finally, Zdeno Chara, who is tall, comforts Jarome Iginla, who is less tall. It looks like a still from an after-school special, or Calvin hugging Hobbes.
Iginla: "Mom says death is as natural as birth, and it's all part of the life cycle. She says we don't really understand it, but there are many things we don't understand and we just have to do the best we can with the knowledge we have. I guess that makes sense... but don't you go anywhere."
Chara: "Don't worry."
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- Henrik Zetterberg
- Brandon Prust