The awesome story behind the Boston Bruins’ goalie hug; how ‘Hug it Out’ became the NHL’s best celebration

The Boston Bruins are having the season of a lifetime. This weekend, as they destroyed the Buffalo Sabres in a 7-1 win, they became the first time in NHL history to reach 100 points. No team in the 105 years of the NHL has gotten to 100 points quicker than the Bruins, who did it in just the 61st game.

They’ve won 48 games this season, and it’s honestly hard to imagine how they won’t win every playoff round this year. The Bruins’ star players are all performing at the top level, and last week, they signed David Pastrnak to an 8-year extension.

Overall, the Boston Bruins are in a perfect place right now, and everything seems to be in harmony. And it’s not just the skaters who are playing at peak hockey. The Bruins just so happen to have one of the best goalie duos in the NHL right now.

Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman aren’t just competing for the No. 1 spot in the Bruins goal, they’re also great friends and supporters on and off the ice, and this season, they’ve charmed hockey fans with their special celebration.

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After every win, Ullmark and Swayman meet up on the ice and share a great hug. It’s become one of the most beloved celebrations in the NHL. 

“We love having the hockey community, young and old, all around the nation supporting that,” Swayman told earlier this season. “We weren’t doing it for the lights or the camera. We were doing it for each other and it’s pretty special how it blossomed.”

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Swayman also explained how the ”hug it out” celebration became a thing in Boston.

“The hug started super naturally,” said Swayman. “I think it was after the first game against Dallas in the regular season last year [a 3-1 win over the Stars]. It was an emotional game, it was super exciting. [My] first Opening Night. And usually, you get a head tap or a high five from a goalie, but [Ullmark] came in fully swinging and I was ready for it.

“It’s just like, ‘this is so natural,’ and we’re just gonna hug because that’s what we felt in the moment. We didn’t realize it was going to become what it became. We’re super fortunate for that.”

Now, after every Boston win, fans stick around in their seats for a few minutes longer than before just to see the postgame routine from the goalies.

“It was a surprise that it grew to such a big thing,” Ullmark said. “There was this little, little thing that we do, which is a simple hug. And it just grew and grew and grew. And all of a sudden, we’re getting videos and pictures from minor goaltenders. We’re getting videos from their mom just thanking us for showing that love, that happiness and respect towards each other.

“And we’re like, ‘we’re on to something here…this is bigger than us.’ We never thought it would grow to be this big. And we were very fortunate and very happy that something bigger and something better did come out of it.”

How could you not love this!? Two awesome goalies and an even more awesome celebration!

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