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 once again to hockey hugs, the feature that celebrates hockey's special moment after the special moment.
The image databases are full of photos like the one above right now, with members of the New York Rangers looking amorously at Henrik Lundqvist. Honestly, I could probably do a countdown exclusively featuring photos of Lundqvist's teammates giving him a romantic eye. He is beloved.
I chose the one between Lundqvist and Chris Kreider because, between Kreider's thin moustache and his creepy stare, he looks like he's moments away from love-knifing his goaltender and softly singing Gerard McMann's "Cry Little Sister" while he skates away.
Speaking of photos with a treacherous undertone, check out Ryan Carter and Travis Zajac at your right. Sure, they look to be making merry, but a closer inspection reveals some alarming details: Carter's face is beet red and Zajac's open-mouthed smile is a touch evil. I'm 79% certain Zajac is trying to crush Carter's head.
Anyway. The top 5 hockey hugs of the last two weeks are far less sinister.
No. 5, Team Russia
Here's a hug combo you don't see every day: Pavel Datsyuk gettin' his squeeze on with Alex Ovechkin. Two Russians hugging? It's so enigmatic! Look at them hot-dogging out there.
"Look here, hockey bird! I am you, worst mascot in history of sport! Ca-caw!"
No. 4, New York Rangers
Carl Hagelin shows some love to Brad Richards. Judging from Richards's face, he's only sort of into it.
"This is the best hug ever, Brad. Isn't this the best hug ever?
"I've hugged Olivia Munn. Without clothes. So no, it definitely isn't."
No. 3, Los Angeles Kings
Our leaping superhug of the day comes to us courtesy of Anze Kopitar, who leaps confidently into the arms of Dustin Brown while Mike Richards looks on jealously.
"Oh, big deal, you two. Jeff Carter does that to me so often, I had to ask him to stop."
No. 2, Washington Capitals
John Carlson and Brooks Laich break into song during Act II of "Shot-Blocking: The Musical."
"Whooaaaaaa.... hockey is one of the manliest sports! / It's not for the soft and the cowardly sorts / We learned it from Hunter, they learned it from Torts / Get down and get hit by a puck!"
"You've broken a bone? Suck it up, little flower! / Your payment's in silver, it's not by the hour! / There's no time for bandages, no time to cower / Get down and get hit by a puck!"
"Blocking a shot is a thankless endeavour / it's painful as Hell and no fun whatsoever / No skill is required, don't have to be clever / Get down and get hit by a puck!"
"Hunter is hardly a Machiavelli / His strategy's simple: turn players to jelly / Can't move? Take heart, you can lie on your belly / get down and get hiiiiiiiiit... by a puuuuuuuuuck!"
No. 1, Los Angeles Kings
Surprise! The Kings are winning everything these days. Why wouldn't they win Hockey Hugs as well. In this photo, Drew Doughty, Jarrett Stoll, and Trevor Lewis can't stop laughing about how different their laughs are. It's super meta.
From left to right:
"Huh huh huh!"
"Hee hee hee!"
"Ha ha ha!"