What's buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Olympic Hockey Hugs: Swedish dogpile; Japan, take a bow

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

Hockey Hugs is a feature that celebrates the best in hugging from around the sport of hockey, because who doesn't love a good hug now and then? Have you seen a particularly good hug photo lately? Send it to puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or Tweet it to @HarrisonMooney.

View gallery

.

The NHL may be on break right now (leading to all sorts of tricky situations when their players come back, having scored elsewhere, and have to explain to their jealous, long-term teams that it doesn't count because they were on a break), but that doesn't mean the hockey hugs have stopped.

On the contrary. The hugs live on in Vladimir Putin's Russia, as one might expect from that notoriously pro-hugging nation, at the Sochi Olympics. It's time for Olympic Hockey Hugs.

We start with the excellence that is the Japanese women's team. These ladies may have a little ways to go before they're competitive with the North American powerhouses, but they've already got the art of the group hug down pat. Look at the pure elation of Hanae Kubo. That's either because she's celebrating Japan's first Olympic hockey goal in 16 years or because she knows the women finally get a chance to break out the sweet twist in their celebration: the Japanese women don't just hug -- they bow to one another.

I want this for my hockey all the time. I love it. I also love the following six hugs.

No. 6, Team Russia (women)

Alyona Khomich and Anna Shibanova share a laugh.

View gallery

.

"Perhaps we will beat Canada and America."

"Hahahahahahahahahaha"

"AHAHAHAHAHA"

"You are very funny, Alyona."

No. 5, Team Russia (men)

Alex Ovechkin is one of the most enthusiastic huggers in hockey, and even with Vladimir Putin watching, it's not in him to tone it down. Here he is, celebrating with Pavel Datsyuk. or maybe they're plotting a nefarious defection.

View gallery

.

"Ovi, want to sneak out tonight and eat ptichie moloko?"

"I DO SO MUCH."

No. 4, Team USA (men)

Phil Kessel, the sexiest American hockey player of all-time and it's not close, gives the people what they want.

View gallery

.

"Phil! The cameras are on you. Make your sexiest face!"

"On it." *Phil Kessel smolders*

No. 3, Team Canada (men)

Drew Doughty's hug with a toothless John Tavares is interrupted by his sudden realization that Jeff Carter is also in Sochi.

View gallery

.

"Whoa, Jeff! I didn't know you were here!"

"We're on the same team!"

"That's crazy!"

"Like, back home."

"Whoa! When did that happen?!"

No. 2, Team Canada (women)

In an attempt to create parity, the IOC stipulates that the American and Canadian women's teams can only have three players on the ice a time. So the Canadians cleverly get around it by doubling up.

View gallery

.

"Oh man. Two sticks at once. We are a MACHINE now."

"Stop talking and steer!"

No. 1, Team Sweden (men)

Finally, nothing in the world can top this hug between Erik Karlsson and Nicklas Backstrom. Except for Daniel Alfredsson, apparently.

View gallery

.

"Dogpile on Erik!!!!"

"You guys! The puck is live!"

"Oh noooooooooo!!!"

- - - - - - -

Harrison Mooney is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (10)
  • Humbled Canadiens stay cool while seeking fourth straight win over Sabres

    The Montreal Canadiens aren't about to start turning cartwheels just because they've won three games in a row. "It humbles us when we win," forward Dale Weise said Thursday. The Canadiens hope to make it four in a row when they visit the Buffalo … More »

    The Canadian Press - 8 minutes ago
  • The Wysh List - Oh Captain! My Captain!

    The Wysh List - Oh Captain! My Captain!

    Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski offers his Top 5 captains he would like to see traded from their current teams. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 18 minutes ago
  • Karma finally finds Roy Sommer in record-setting AHL win

    Karma finally finds Roy Sommer in record-setting AHL win

    The Barracuda picked up the record-setting victory with a 4-2 win over the Ontario Reign in front of 3,974 people at SAP Center. Sommer, who has been the Sharks’ AHL coach for 18 seasons, won his 635th game on Jan. 15. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 27 minutes ago
  • Phaneuf evolved into more effective leader with Leafs

    Promising young defenceman Morgan Rielly was preparing for his second season with the Toronto Maple Leafs when team captain Dion Phaneuf offered some advice. During a conversation over dinner one night, Phaneuf told Rielly to ignore any talk from … More »

    The Canadian Press - 28 minutes ago
  • Christian brothers put golds up for bids

    Christian brothers put golds up for bids

    ''Whether or not we have it in our hand, we still both won gold medals,'' said Dave Christian, a key member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that produced the ''Miracle on Ice'' who went on to play 15 seasons in the NHL. Bill Christian was a star on … More »

    AP - Sports - 33 minutes ago