Hockey Hugs: Jay Harrison’s Rockette kick, Shawn Ma-tears, Kiss Huggins returns

Hockey Hugs is a feature that celebrates the best in hugging from around the NHL, because who doesn't love a good hug now and then? Seen a particularly good hug photo lately? Send it to or tweet @HarrisonMooney.

They say that January is the most depressing month of the year. The weather is gloomy, it's just after Christmas when Christmas debt and Christmaslessness is at its peak, and all of our New Year's resolutions have failed. Emotions runs high, and even if you think you're above them, sometimes they sweep over you.

Take, for instance, the hug above, as the New Jersey Devils celebrate a goal versus the Edmonton Oilers. At first, it may have seemed like any typical hug, but this photo depicts the exact moment where Patrik Elias and Zach Parise lost themselves in one another.

Look at Kovalchuk and Foster: they have no idea they've become completely tertiary elements of this hug. They're simply no longer there.

Or, as another example, look right, to this mad squeeze between Troy Brouwer and Alex Semin of the Washington Capitals. It's so jam-packed with emotion that they're glowing. Meanwhile, their teammate in the background there has already recognized that no one else is invited to this hug. He just stands respectfully to the side, not glowing.

Coming up, more sudden emotion in this week's edition of hockey hugs.

No. 5, Florida Panthers

Speaking of sudden emotion, here's Shawn Matthias entering a group hug with his teammates, only to realize that their friendship means more to him than anything in the world. It catches Brian Campbell off guard.

"Uh. There there, Shawn. Look, you have to stop doing this. Everyone's calling you Shawn Ma-tears."

"I just miss you guys so much.

"We're right here."

"But not forever."

No. 4, Buffalo Sabres

Not a lot has gone right for the Buffalo Sabres, but don't let anyone tell you that it's a chemistry issue. These guys are close. So close, in fact, that they occasionally take hug breaks during the play. Not pictured: their opponents, breaking in on Ryan Miller, 5-on-0.

"You know what, fellas? I don't care where we are in the standings, so long as we're there together."

No. 3, Los Angeles Kings

Wherein the Kings celebrate a big goal and then, all of a sudden, Brad Richardson catches a whiff of linemate Trevor Lewis's manly scent.

"Trevor, you smell terrific!"

No. 2, Carolina Hurricanes

Jay Harrison is so into this hug that he does a little leg-kick.

"What a feeling! Hi-ya!"

No. 1, Vancouver Canucks

And finally, in our hug of the week, Chris "Kiss Huggins" Higgins is at it again, this time pairing with Cody Hodgson for the smiliest embrace in the history of ever.

"Hey Cody?"

"Hahaha yeah?"

"Remember that time..."

"Hahaha yeah."