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 firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @HarrisonMooney.
Welcome to hockey hugs, the glue that holds us together in these trying times.
Before we get into it, some bad news: for 22 teams, the offseason has begun, which means fewer hockey hug pics. (Granted, there may be more golf hug pics, but Getty and AP aren't dispatching cameramen to document those for us ... yet.)
So enjoy the Jason Spezza/Zenon Konopka hug above. It's the last time you'll see the Senators this year.
Spezza sort of looks like he's trying to console Konopka through a breakdown he doesn't take all that seriously. "I know, man, Andy grew up and it was time to let the toys go... but do you really have to cry about it?"
Sadly, we also say goodbye to Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy, who have made the cut several times this year. Someone needs to caption their final photo with that "Footprints in the Sand" poem.
The good news, however, is that there are no muted or non-reactions after playoff scoring past the first round. By this time in the season, nearly every goal turns out a fantastic hug photo, which means the eight teams remaining are churning out solid gold.
No. 5, New Jersey Devils
Marek Zidlicky leaps into the arms of Adam Henrique.
"Carry me, Adam!"
"I have been, Marek. We all have."
No. 4, Phoenix Coyotes
Martin Hanzal and Ray Whitney give us this week's best big-guy-little-guy hug.
"RAY WHITNEY .... FRIEND ... ?"
"Yes Martin, I'm your friend."
"MARTIN. LOVE. WHITNEY."
No. 3, Philadelphia Flyers
Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere huddle together for warmth.
"Nestle into my beard, Danny. Stay with me. Someone will come for us."
No. 2, New Jersey Devils
Zach Parise celebrates a goal with his linemates after -- HOLY HELL LOOK AT HIS LEGS.
Seriously, that can't be safe. Check out the look of utter bemusement from the photographer by Parise's right skate.
No. 1, Washington Capitals
And finally, Joel Ward breaks down after scoring the series winner in Boston. The man has a legit emotional streak. Watch him jumping up and down like a schoolgirl here.