To quote Tom Arnold in True Lies: "It's called ice, and it gets a little slick."
That's what makes pre-game hockey pageantry unique compared to that of other major sports. It happens on ice, making the slips and falls far more frequent, far more painful and far more embarrassing.
And imagine how much that feeling magnifies when you're kid, a goalie and you're about to share ice with the Montreal Canadiens. A young netminder did his best to tote the flag before Game 2 between the Habs and Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night. But the poor tyke looked like he was wearing cement equipment. The weight of it all brought him down and he had a devil of a time getting back to his feet. To us, the scene is probably more adorable than cringe-worthy, but the moment must've felt like 10 minutes for the poor guy.
Then, with a simple gesture, Carey Price comes to the rescue. A blocker-to-glove fist pound, a stick tap on the pads, a few words and some all-around acknowledgement. Check it out:
Sure, it's a fleeting moment, and really not that big a deal. But it likely was to the little fella, and it's nice to see an elite athlete realize how much two seconds of his time can live on in the mind of another.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin