Hockey Hugs: Classic Red Wings snuggle; Nikitin’s life-sized Blue Jackets plush toy

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 puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or Tweet it to @HarrisonMooney.

It is time once again for hockey hugs, the Puck Daddy feature that is sure to move you. It's like a Nicholas Sparks book up in here. I hope you like having feels, because you, my friend, are about to.

Up top, in a photo I have titled "CoHo and cohort", Cody Hodgson explains why he loves scoring goals.

"Because then I don't have to backcheck."

Coming up, more hugs from the huggingest sport in sports.

No. 6, New York Islanders

John Tavares and Kyle Okposo combine to create the toughest-looking snuggle in hockey history.

"Hey Kyle, let's show 'em our mad dog faces! Scrunch up your nose!"

"How's this?"

"Oh man, that's about as scrunched as a nose can get. Way to scrunch a bunch."

No. 5, Ottawa Senators

Mika Zibanejad hugs Patrick Wiercioch while Wiercioch keeps watch.

"Mika. I think coach just noticed we're not helping cycle the puck. Only a few more seconds."

No. 4, Phoenix Coyotes

Oliver Ekman-Larsson falls asleep mid-game while Keith Yandle attempts to rouse him by shouting into his ear.

"Oh come on. I know Tippett's system is boring, but you can't keep doing this."

"Zzzzzz."

"DUDE. WAKE UP."

No. 3, Nashville Predators

In this fantastic photo, Shea Weber and Mike Fisher celebrate a rare Nashville goal.

"We did it!"

"How many more of those do we need to tie the game!"

"A whole bunch!"

No. 2, Detroit Red Wings

Frankly, the only hockey hug from the last month that trumps the Weber-Fisher hug, from an aesthetic perspective, was snapped at the Winter Classic. Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Zetterberg snuggle in the falling snow.

"I hope this hug never ends."

"It won't. We have frozen together."

"Best Winter Classic ever!"

No. 1, Columbus Blue Jackets

But as beautiful as those hugs are, those of you who follow this ridiculous feature likely know all about my fondness for the big-guy-little-guy hug, and it doesn't get much better than this moment between 6'3" Nikita Nikitin and 5'7" Cam Atkinson. At least I think that's what this is. I don't watch a lot of Columbus games. It's possible that Nikitin is an adorable man-child that insists on bringing his life-sized Blue Jackets plush toy out onto the ice for his shifts.

"Cammy! You're my best friend! If I'm YOUR best friend, don't say anything. *pause* Hooray!"

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