Welcome once again to Hockey Hugs, the feature that gets in close on the moments when your favourite NHLers do the same.
We'll get to the best bro-cuddles of the past two weeks in just a moment, but first, a little housekeeping. I have a bone to pick with Evander Kane.
Now, Kane is a frequent source of criticism for a number of reasons, from his money phone to his hair and pretty much anything else that many in the hockey world don't understand. But I don't want to get into anything like that. Rather, my issue is with the photo you see at right.
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT.
Now listen, Evander. I know that you're a unique individual and that you refuse to let anybody put you in a box. I know that you're something of an outlier in hockey culture and that you're fine with that. For the most part, I am too.
But there's one thing you don't mess with, and it's the hockey hug. Fist bumps are for Howie Mandel. Next time, you get in there.
For one thing, it's just how it's done. For another, it's boatloads of fun! Look at Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds up there. They're having the time of their lives, cackling like supervillains, all teeth and joy. You'd think they were at a carnival. But nope -- just hugging.
And they aren't the only ones having a whale of a time.
No. 5, Minnesota Wild
Matt Cullen and Kyle Brodziak go for a tumble.
"Kyle! Now is not the time!"
Official: "No goal on Matt Cullen's shootout attempt."
No. 4, Columbus Blue Jackets
Here's a great big guy-little guy hug, courtesy Nick Foligno and 5'7" Cam Atkinson.
"I can't carry you every shift, Cam."
"My widdle wegs are sweepy!"
"Fine. But this is the last time."
No. 3, Ottawa Senators
The Senators have a rule: be gentle with Daniel Alfredsson. When Stephane Da Costa rushes into this hug too fast and winds up crushing the poor old guy (that's his nose in there), Colin Greening lets him have it.
"DON'T. TOUCH. ALFY."
No. 2, Washington Capitals
The photo was snapped at the exact moment John Erskine realizes his defensive partner is more interested in someone else.
"Hey! We scored! Johns for life, am I right Carl -- oh. I'll just... keep it together, John. Don't let anyone see you like this."
No. 1, Anaheim Ducks
Corey Perry appears to be deriving some sort of pleasure from this hug.
"OHHHHHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!"
"Yeah... uh, good coal, Corey."
"I CAN TASTE THE SUN."