Tomas Hertl probably thought he'd be able to learn a little more English before he was the guy plucked for the postgame interview at the SAP Center in San Jose. But when the 19-year-old Czech rookie went off in his third NHL game, scoring four goals, the fourth of which is the frontrunner for goal of the year, there was no avoiding his postgame obligation: the people wanted Tomas Hertl.
And so, with only a handful of English words at his disposal -- and no real sentences to speak of, let alone speak -- Hertl stood at ice level and answered Brodie Brazil's questions he was asked as best he could. Fortunately, what he lacked in English sentences, he more than made up for in adorability, like a puppy that's really good at hockey:
Look at him soaking in the applause. What a neat moment. What's going through your mind right now, Tomas?
"This is dream. This is dream. No reality. I'm happy and... crazy and... I don't know and... big game and... this is dream."
I couldn't have said it better myself, honestly. At 19 years old, in front of thousands of screaming fans, after a game like that, I'm not sure I would have been any more articulate. And English is my first language.
I love everything about this video, especially the time we get to spend with his ecstatic mom, who was just as blindsided by Hertl's arrival as he was: she didn't even have time to get a jersey with her son's updated number on it.