The Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings players all tapped their sticks on the ice Monday when injured Canes goalie Eddie Lack was stretchered off the ice.
The tapping of sticks is an old hockey tradition, a way of showing support. In essence, it’s the players’ way of clapping without removing their gloves.
The Hurricanes often recognize military personnel who are attending games at PNC Arena. The players, in turn, tap their sticks against the ice or against the boards if on the bench as a salute.
If there’s a big goal or play in a game, sticks are tapped. If there’s a fight in the game, with gloves dropped and punches thrown, sticks again will be tapped or banged against the boards as each team salutes their player.
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Lack was hit the head by the Wings’ Andres Athanasiou drove the net to score the winning goal in overtime. Lack fell into the net and was motionless after the play as Canes trainer Pete Friesen and medical personnel quickly came onto the ice.
The Canes and Wings players stood silently for about 10 minutes before Lack was carried off on a stretcher and taken to UNC Rex Hospital. Lack did give a thumbs-up.
Soon, all the players had their sticks tapping.