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 email@example.com or Tweet it to @HarrisonMooney.
The NHL's regular season is over, which means, 14 teams and their fans could probably do with a good hug.
Fortunately, this feature has several. A handful of times every night, you see, the two teams pause the game so one team can hug. It builds momentum. (After a hug, the bench is 10 feet tall.) It relieves pressure.
"We all know the pressure's there, we just have to deal with it and move on," Randy Carlyle said as his team felt the rigours of trying to hold onto a playoff spot. "Our job is to provide a template for players to feel comfortable. Some days it's a little more harsh, sometimes it's a pat on the back, a hug, whatever you deem appropriate."
Here at Puck Daddy, we always deem hugs appropriate. Which is why we're counting down our favourite six of the past month in the NHL.
Honorable mention to Paul Bissonnette and the Phoenix Coyotes. They say he's a tough guy, but he's actually a very sensitive soul, and this mischaracterization hurts his feelings. Here he is, telling Chris Summers all about it.
No. 6. New York Rangers
A concerned Martin St. Louis nestles into Rick Nash, who is big enough to protect him.
"New York is so big, Rick."
"That's why they call it the Big Apple."
"Well, right now, I just have a big apple in my throat."
"Take your time, Marty. We'll start our shift whenever you're ready."
No. 5. Vancouver Canucks
David Booth and Brad Richardson celebrate a big moment in Booth's life.
"I'm engaged, Brad!"
"Hey, that's great!"
"We met on Twitter!"
Hey, that's great."
"We're going to get married in the big field in Montana where I killed my biggest deer!"
"Hey, that's... wait, seriously?"
"Yes! No joke! I'm batcrap insane and she's into that!"
No. 4. Colorado Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie get close.
"Barrie my heart!"
"Stop saying that!"
"Barrie my heart!"
"I SAID STOP."
No. 3. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs hug like they defend: sloppily.
Lupul: "Guys, get up. Hurry! Detroit's on a 5-on-1 right now."
Rielly: "Why aren't you getting back, then?!"
Lupul: "Someone had to tell you guys!"
No. 2. Montreal Canadiens
P.K. Subban wasn't even on the ice when this goal was scored.
"You can't spell hockey hug without PK!"
No. 1. Columbus Blue Jackets
Finally, the Blue Jackets make the playoffs, and immediatelty ascend to heaven. This is one of the greatest hockey hug photos I have ever seen. If we get a better one this year, it's been a banner year for hugs.
"Guys! We're floating!"
"We should never have tasted Mr. Wonka's fizzy lifting drink!"