Having already shared a bunch of pictures from Game 5, I want to share this picture, and a couple of brief stories to go with it.
I've seen various interviews with hockey players that ask how aware they are of what's going on, on the other side of a glass during games or practices, and there's been replies ranging from "completely oblivious" to "very aware". So as fans crowd the glass for the pre-game skate, and fans hold up signs etc., you wonder how much either team pays attention to what's going on in the fan areas.
This young fan was standing by the glass for the pre-game skate for Game 5, as you can see. He had his hand at first pressed up flat against the glass, just watching the players skate. On one of his skating passes, Jonathan Toews give a fist-bump against the glass where the boy's hand was.
That was pretty cool of Toews, but a couple minutes later, Andrew Ladd saw the boy, scooped up a puck, and saw that the kid was behind the glass protected by the net. He pointed specifically at the boy, and tossed the puck up over the glass as close to the boy as he could, so that other fans would pass the puck to the boy, which they did.
Having rooted for the 2006 Hurricanes (nee Whalers) in their Cup run, I was not exactly disappointed to see Ladd end up on the Blackhawks; but Ladd has definitely secured himself this season among my "favorite players" roster. He's a good player but he's also great with fans, especially kids.
Game 6 tonight at the GM, 8:30pm CT. Let's go, Blackhawks!!