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 the final Hockey Hugs of the 2012 postseason. I hope you've enjoyed the meticulous cataloguing of hockey's depictions of man-love as much as I have.
It's been a good year, as this video from The Hockey Hipster illustrates beautifully:
As for today's servings ... well, like everything else for the last two months, it's completely dominated by the Los Angeles Kings. That's Anze Kopitar and Alec Martinez above, giggling to themselves over the fact that Darryl Sutter looks like Sam the Eagle. He keeps scowling at them; it only makes it funnier.
The Kings have been the superior franchise in every way imaginable, from their on-ice performance to their social media, marketing and public relations, to their hockey hugs. As the photos coming up will prove, this is a team that's come together perfectly.
No. 5, New York Rangers
True story: Artem Anisimov and Ryan Callahan are hugging and laughing because their jersey numbers are the inverse of one another and it's just amazing to them. But I'll tell you who does not find this scene amazing: the kid in the white jersey.
Kid in blue jersey: Extraordinary!
Kid in white jersey: Sick!
No. 4, Los Angeles Kings
We've got two angles on this photo, in which Matt Greene tries to restrain Jeff Carter, who insists on doing the can-can for some reason.
"Knock it off, Jeff! People are staring!"
No. 3, Los Angeles Kings
Speaking of people finding hugs distasteful, Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar are clearly hamming it up for the distraught Devils fan at the glass.
"Dude, dude, get closer, squeeze harder. I think we can make that guy throw up on his phone."
No. 2, Los Angeles Kings
Same hug, just later. Williams and Kopitar carried on for so long that, eventually, Willie Mitchell had to come over and tell them to knock it off.
Mitchell: "Would you guys cut it out? It's been 10 minutes."
Kopitar: "Somebody's jealous..."
Williams: "Sorry Willie, no room for you. But it looks like Dainius Zubrus needs a hug."
Zubrus: "Woe is Dainius!"
No. 1, Los Angeles Kings
And finally, Jeff Carter, Slava Voynov and Mike Richards react to Dustin Penner's announcement that he'll be adopting all three of them.
I'm trying to decide which fan at the glass is my favorite here. There's scrunchy-face guy, but there's also the guy in the plaid shorts mashing his groin against the glass. Tough call.