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Playoff Reflections: Matt Bradley

Matt Bradley, in the playoffs. (2008 photo by Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

"You could say that we forced our way through the last few games of the regular season," Alex Ovechkin said to Sovetsky Sport this week. (Via Japers) "It wasn't interesting, there wasn't any motivation to play hockey. All of our thoughts were on the playoffs."

So yeah, you hear over and over again that the intensity of playoff hockey is like nothing that's experienced during the regular season. So I figured it was worth asking a few guys how that happens, what the regular season doldrums are like, and how things change so quickly in mid-April.

"I mean, yeah, we're giving 100 percent during the regular season, but in playoffs you might just do that tiny bit extra," Matt Bradley said. "If you have a chance to dive in front of a puck and you know it might hit me in the face or whatever, in the playoffs you'll do it. Maybe in the regular season, you might think twice about doing something like that. It's tough to explain. Because every goal is so important in the playoffs, that it's almost like do or die every time you're on the ice. It's almost like a different mind-set when you go through the playoffs.

"As far as worrying about injury or anything, that kind of goes out the window during the playoffs. You do whatever needs to be done, and if you have to put yourself in a vulnerable position, then that's what you have to do....It's just an amped-up version of a regular season game."

Which leaves the regular season as what, exactly?

"I think we all enjoy the play, but with 82 games in the season it's tough to get super psyched for every game," Bradley said. "There's the odd game where you're just mentally not in it, and that's when you've got to be professional and battle through and play the best you can. Yeah, it's a long season, but we get paid well and we have to be professional and we have to come ready to play for every game. Some games you just don't have it. You're not gonna play 82 great games. Some games you don't play as well as you do in others, but as long as the effort's there, that's really all you can ask."

In the playoffs, though, that is never an issue, Bradley said.

"You have something wrong with you if you can't get up for a playoff game," he said. "Even if you play seven-game series all the way to the Stanley Cup, it still should be no problem getting up for a playoff game. I can't see anyone up here struggling with that."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 14, 2009; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Nicklas Backstrom Curses in Swedish


Looking forward to seeing Brads give his usual 100% throughout the playoffs.


Posted by: CapsChick | April 15, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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