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McPhee: "We Had to Win Tonight"

(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

A few bonus quotes.

George McPhee, on the result: "Well, I couldn't feel better about what just happened. You know, I felt we owed it to this community, the way we've been supported. I never really thought it could be this great. This team has resonated in this community, they've really supported us and we really felt like we had to get a win for them tonight. And we had to win. You know, you can't just have good seasons and not win in the playoffs. We had to win tonight."

Bruce Boudreau, on the second round: "I think it means more to the organization and to the city of Washington. I don't know what Chicago is like as far as the building, other than the National Anthem, but that was the loudest five minutes after we scored. They never sat down, they never stopped cheering. If you look at the energy we had just in checking, the people brought that out of us. They wouldn't let us not continue skating, not continue anything. It was really a thing to watch."

Chris Clark, on the noise: "My ears are still ringing. It was loud. It was like going to a rock concert. It was awesome."

Brian Pothier, on the second intermission: "We had four or five guys stand up and just say, 'Listen, this is the time. This is the moment. This is the moment.' You play street hockey at home when you're four and five years old; Game 7, this is the moment.... We had like five or six guys step up, Clarkie obviously, and Feds and Ovie, everybody was chiming in. Everybody was contributing to understanding what was going on."

Simeon Varlamov, on standing on his ears: "I just tried to save the pucks. I didn't try to stand on my ears, because I'm not in the zoo, standing on my ears." (That's Russian for standing on his head.)

Pothier, on Sergei Fedorov: "You can't say enough about the guy, he just makes the right play every time. He has the knack for just being great at the right moment. And tonight was no different."

Alex Ovechkin, on Fedorov's winner: "That goal was pretty sick, actually. I tell him. It was very sick."

Clark, on himself: "I'd been skating and doing what I can to be in it so when I do get the chance, I wanted to be as ready as I ever was. I didn't want any mistakes by myself, I wanted to make sure once I'd get in, Bruce let me get in, that I'd be doing something positive."

Pothier, on Clark:"I thought Chris Clark was exceptional tonight. I thought he should have had maybe two or three goals. He had some excellent chances, he was banging bodies, he won every battle I saw him in. To come off a few months' absence and just step into a Game 7, it's not an easy thing to do, and just his presence, he does just such a good job of calming the guys down."

John Tortorella, on the third: "It was still a game to be had. Who makes the next big play? They did. We didn't. They win the game."

McPhee, on Clark and Pothier: "Well, there seemed to be a letdown around the trading deadline when we didn't make certain moves. And I would have liked to have done something, but the guys we were interested [in] weren't traded. And there really wasn't anything else that we thought would be better than Brian Pothier, would be better than Chris Clark. And to give up something to get guys that aren't better than what we already have didn't make sense. And there was some risk in sort of holding back and not making a move. You roll the dice, hoping that Pothier might be able to play. We didn't know. He'd been out a year and a half. Didn't know whether Chris Clark would be back. And to have those guys come back in, and then have the young goalie do what he's done in this series, it sure makes you feel good about what you've been trying to do."

McPhee, on Game 7 and Ovechkin: "Well, you have to be able to adapt and adjust in the playoffs. You have to be able to play, I think in baseball they call it little ball: just get on base, find a way to get on base, don't take the big cuts. Alex learned to dump it in instead of trying to go one on one all the time. You know, he's really effective at that, but there are times you when you have to get it in, and he did it....Sometimes when you win by the big scores that we won in Games 5 and 6, you think it's gonna be that way in Game 7, you can play wide open, it's gonna be a shootout, and it doesn't happen."

McPhee, on his post-game reaction: "I just couldn't wait to get down here. We usually take our time coming down, but we wanted to run right down and enjoy this. For 15 or 20 minutes. Before the league shows me the schedule and we have to start arguing about that for the next series."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 29, 2009; 12:54 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Game 7 Ratings, Koken's Prediction, Etc.


Steinz, you're da bomb -- you have been a man on fire during the playoffs. We saw you at the game and felt we had to point someone out to you, and before we could, you'd already focused on him. Man, you have the nose for news. Thanks for your coverage of the Caps. I doubt we'll ever call you Bloggy...but, we'll say hello the next time we see you and if we see something Steinz-worthy, we'll try to point it out. (Both of us are former US Senate press secretaries, so it's in our DNA.)

Posted by: plinkwired | April 29, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I hope McPhee is arguing about the schedule. How did the Caps get the only series with a back-to-back? How does their series start latest, but have the earliest scheduled game 7?

Posted by: sirbobalew | April 29, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It's called small ball, George.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 29, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

its called tv. nbc wants these guys in as many weekend games as possible. thats why they are starting late and thats why they have the back to back. deal with it and be proud that the team is considered marquee enough to merit such attention.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 29, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

It's not all on NBC. Due to their coverage of The Players Championship Golf tournament, they will only be able to show 1 Caps vs Pens game. So, it isn't all on them.

Also, I don't know how hard it is to get them, but I'd really like to see last night's TV ratings.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 29, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Figures--the NHL gets its most anticipated series in years, and NBC can't broadcast game 5 because it's committed to golf.

Anybody know what happens if this Saturday's game goes into overtime and bleeds into the window for coverage of the Kentucky Derby. Last time that happened, NBC cut away from a playoff hockey game--not to show the race, but to show the pre-race coverage.

Posted by: TheFingerman | April 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

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