BOSTON, MA - Every year, the Bruins make a visit to Boston Children's Hospital, with players decked out in Halloween costumes.
The goal each October? Choose the get-ups that will make the kids laugh the most.
On Monday afternoon, with the B's getting a free afternoon following practice before hitting the road for Pittsburgh, Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith honored the tradition - and did not disappoint.
With Bartkowski dressed up as a pirate, Hamilton as a 6-foot-5 baby, and Smith as Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story (complete with the stance), the trio made their rounds at Boston Children's, visiting patients and most importantly, making them laugh.
The annual visit has become a fan favorite, and not just for the kids who get a bright spot in their days. We've seen an array of costumes in years past, including Zdeno Chara's infamous bunny costume.
"We had a couple of options for some costumes we could wear, and I thought this one suited me and would make the kids laugh a little," Dougie laughed.
"I think they were pretty excited to see us, and not sure what we were wearing, and trying to figure out what was going on a little bit, but it was a nice day to be able to come here and see them and put smiles on their faces."
The kids were sporting plenty of Red Sox gear with World Series fever going around, and during Bruins' season, kids like young Caleb stay up way past their bedtime to watch the games.
Smith joked that maybe they needed to bring a few more Bruins' hats next time.
"It's great for the city, and the community, just shows Boston loves their sports," said the winger, who's easily become accustomed to the area since arriving in August.
It's a city that also enjoys that camaraderie extending beyond sports.
"A bunch of kids said they had watched the games and were cheering for us, so anytime we can come and say hi to them and make them smile, it's a good feeling for them," said Dougie.
As they went from floor to floor, the Bruins encountered plenty of fans and hockey players like Timmy the goalie (he played forward and scored the other day!) and huge B's fan Owen (who also had a Red Sox playoff beard close by).
(Photo Credit: Boston Children's Hospital. Dougie, Matt and Reilly with Timmy)
"It was good just to be able to meet some of them," added Matt, whose pirate costume took home the unofficial top prize, from the kids' perspective.
"It's good to put a smile on kids faces who haven't necessarily gotten a fair shake in life, so if we can come, and wear some stupid costumes and cheer them up, it's great. it's good to be able to help them out."
"It was pretty unanimous that everyone liked Bart's," Reilly smiled. "The pirate I think took it over. But I think Dougie's was pretty funny too."
The "giant baby" may even rival the "giant bunny" that Zee went as a few years ago.
(Photo Credit: Boston Children's Hospital. Dougie finds a page with Jarome Iginla in a coloring book, as Juan gets in a laugh)
"I got voted No. 1 a lot," a dumbfounded Matt laughed. "But I like Dougie's, just because you don't see many 6-foot-6 babies."
The kids were all mesmerized, too.
"Everyone was pretty dumbfounded, walking through the halls and everything. No one knew what to make of it, so it was pretty fun," smiled Dougie (who, as pictured above, even found a coloring book with Jarome Iginla on the pages and had a good time with that).
So, could your costume top Zee's?
"Oh, I don't think so," he said. "I don't think anyone can top that."