Tuesday night was the Philadelphia Flyers' Hockey Fights Cancer game, and they went the extra mile for their honoree, 9-year-old Owen Micciche. The Flyers took Owen in for the day and even let him do some coaching from the bench during the game.
Owen was diagnosed with cancer when he was just six months old, and he has been battling the disease ever since. Back in July, scans showed that Owen developed new tumors in his brain and spine. The young hockey fan has been fighting his entire life, and he still has a long road ahead of him, but the Flyers gave him a moment of respite on Tuesday.
Flyers coach John Tortorella allowed Owen to take a rookie lap in pregame warmups, and he read the starting lineup in the locker room. To top it all off, Owen was allowed to stand next to Tortorella on the bench for part of the game as he helped coach up his favorite team.
In his postgame press conference, Tortorella was asked about the team's special guest. As only he can, Tortorella explained the importance of wins, losses, shots and scoring chances after spending time with someone like Owen.
"It doesn't mean a g--damn thing," Tortorella said.
Tortorella added that the Flyers loved having Owen around, and he even got a little bit vocal on the bench during the game.
"I'm thrilled that we were a part of it for him tonight," Tortorella said. "Great kid. He was yelling on the bench. I hope, for a little bit, it helps him. It certainly puts things into perspective when you understand what he's going through."
The Flyers wound up losing to the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, but the result hardly mattered. Owen had the night of a lifetime, and the team got some much-needed perspective from a courageous fan.