While we fully endorse hockey hugs here at Puck Daddy, we simply cannot endorse reckless hugging. The post-goal embrace, like any other aspect of the sport, is an injury waiting to happen if you don't treat it with the proper respect.
Obviously, the primary concern would be making sure you don't come down funny -- or on somebody -- when you decide your hug will begin in mid-air. But there are dangers even for those that remain on the ground, as Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche learned Monday versus the Calgary Flames.
Ryan O’Reilly might miss Thursday’s game against Ottawa because of a bizarre shoulder injury he suffered in celebrating a goal Monday night.
O’Reilly hurt his left shoulder while celebrating the Avs’ third goal, by Paul Stastny. Essentially, he got it jammed while extending his left arm into the group hug. The Avs say he is day-to-day, so we’ll see tomorrow if he plays or not against Ottawa.
Let's see if we can't spot the injury:
Yep, there it is. O'Reilly is the fourth one into the group hug (his nameplate says O'REILLY, which is the best way to spot him). As he tries to forcefully join the fray, he winds up jamming his arm and skating away in considerable pain.
Let this be a lesson to all you huggers out there. Arms wide open. Like the dude from Creed. Even when hugging, it's important to keep those arms moving and work on your gap control.
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