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How the Caps Celebrated

By Bruce Bennett - Getty

After Brooks Laich had addressed about 732 media members tonight, and after I made him repeat himself yet again in the hallway, everyone turned off their recording devices and went to find someone else. Laich just stood there, smiling.

"What a game, though, eh?" he finally said as he walked away. "What a game."

This was Game 6. Game 6 isn't usually about sheer goofy-grin-spewing jubilation. Game 6 is about "we've got one more game to go, and we're not celebrating yet." Game 6 is about "we know how serious is the task ahead." Game 6 is about cliches. Except here's how the Caps described the winning moment.

"I mean, that was the biggest goal that I scored in my career so I didn't know what to do," David Steckel said. "I just started jumping around."

"I couldn't get over the boards quick enough," Mike Green said.

"Just an eight-inch vertical leap," Coach Bruce Boudreau said, describing his own reaction. "It's getting higher. Each game that's more important, I leap a little bit higher."

"To be honest I just turned around and saw the nearest guy," Laich said. "It was Tom Poti, and I just about leveled him, the poor guy. It might have been the hardest hit he took tonight. I left my feet, so it would have been a penalty, too. Just elation and excited, grab the nearest guy and hug him to death."

"Well, it was fun, you know?" said Viktor Kozlov, aka Nice Drago, whose face showed more fun than his quotes. "I'm very excited with everybody else."

When Nice Drago is admitting he's very excited with everybody else, you know someone misplaced the Game 6 script.

"By the time they get on the plane they'll be all business again," Boudreau promised. "You allow them the 45 minutes now to really enjoy and to soak this in. it's been a long time since we won an overtime game in Pittsburgh or even prolonged a series when Pittsburgh was able to beat us. We've been hearing about it for two days, pretty constant, so for those guys in the room it was a pretty nice feeling."

So by Tuesday we'll be back to the standard-issue stuff about forgetting the past and only one game mattering and the work still left to be done. Others flipped the switch quicker. Here's Nicklas Backstrom, when asked his first thought after the lamp lit up.

"Game 7," he said. "Absolutely. I mean, we have to."

"I think we've got a Game 7, that's all we were thinking about," added Sergei Fedorov, reading off the official transcript. "We're gonna shift this series back to Washington--I think that was the most important thought process. Obviously we were very happy, but we have a lot of work left ahead of us."

Sure. Sure, that's true. But we've had the NHL's three leading playoff point scorers, three overtime games, five one-goal games, six straight taut third periods, a massive media contingent, record-breaking TV ratings and way too many group hugs to count. For one more day, let us enjoy the grown-men-acting-like-little-kids bit.

"I didn't know that it went in right away" Laich said. "And all of the sudden the benches cleared and I just rushed over and it was just a mob and you're kind of out of control."

More Notes

Green Stick

Green actually got his bound-for-the-Hall-of-Fame Easton Stealth stick delivered. A couple Caps staffers who were driving to the game lugged the stick along--the last of its kind, since the stick is now discontinued. But Green didn't use it. He said he now got used to the newer model, which he started using in Game 1

Game 7 Destiny

This was, apparently, inevitable.

"I mean, there was a lot of [hype] before the series started, and it's everything it was made up to be," Sidney Crosby said. "Let's just say I'm not surprised it's going seven."

"I think league wants us to play seven games, Pittsburgh-Washington, so they got it," Alex Ovechkin added. "Fans probably happy, too."

"I kind of had a sense before the series started it would go to Game 7, and here we are," Green said. "But as far as an encore, I'm not sure. It's gonna be a great game, that's all I can say."

"I think a lot of people will want to watch Game 7," Boudreau said. "I was telling a couple people after the game, this is so good for our game. I mean, when the best players can shine on a bright stage like this. I just wish it was for the Cup."

Backs Against the Crumbling Wall of Brick Destiny

This morning, the Caps called for Uber Desperation. By tonight, they had delivered. They're now something like 151-1 over the past two seasons when facing elimination. (Ok, it's actually 7-1, counting last year's regular season finale.) Why does it go down like this?

"Any time we're put in a desperate situation we really step our games up as individuals, and therefore as a team we succeed," Green said. "I don't know why we wait until we put ourselves in a desperate situation, but it seems like we do."

"The message was it's our turn," Boudreau said. "If we can just stay the course, we'll get a chance, we're gonna get a lucky break, we're gonna get a lucky tip, it's our turn. And you've just got to believe."

"Well, I think how I said before the game," Ovechkin said. "Everybody understand, it's time to play hard. Play hardest," he corrected himself.

See image of Ovechkin after playing hardest here.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 12, 2009; 12:10 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: How the Caps Celebrated: The Video


Speaking of transcripts, this series is going down exactly as written in Deuteronomy 4:17. What a game and a series. And what a picture of Matt Bradley's scary mug!

Posted by: ThisGuy | May 12, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

omg that picture is awesome. look at the crowd behind stecks. *brillance* what a greta game all around. we never gave up and semin...what a night, drawing penalty after penalty and really chipping in. everyone did great from beags all the way up to ovie, this was a team effort and we won it as a team.

see everybody at VC on wednesday!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | May 12, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Brooks Laich, I cannot love you more than I do right now. It's just not possible.

Posted by: jinnah1 | May 12, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

See ya all at Kettler later this morning and hope to Rock the Red tomorrow at the Phone Booth!

Posted by: WCAPS1 | May 12, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I can't say it enough. It's never over.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | May 12, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Alright boys, remember how you played this game and bring it on wednesday. No, check that, ratchet it up a notch... And Mike, now that you are used to the new stick, how about using it? We really need you to chip in! Great game, great series. I'll say this, no matter what happens on wednesday, this has been one hell of a season, beating the Pens would be icing on the cake!

Posted by: isaacc7 | May 12, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Watching Little Cindy limp to the bench with his stinger boo-boo, leaving his team shorthanded made me think of Chris Clark finishing a long shift after getting hit in the mouth by a puck - which knocked out a couple of teeth and shattered the roof of his mouth. True colors shining through...

And retribution for Steckel. I am SO very happy that he scored it.

Posted by: buzzardbait | May 12, 2009 6:04 AM | Report abuse

This is my new favorite pic of Brads. I love Fleury on his knees behind them and the Pens fan with his hands clasped over his head in exasperation. It was good of the Pens to distribute shirts in the Caps color again!

Posted by: CapsChick | May 12, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

"Just an eight-inch vertical leap," Coach Bruce Boudreau said, describing his own reaction. "It's getting higher. Each game that's more important, I leap a little bit higher."

I know how you feel Bruce...and I will see you tomorrow!

Posted by: NatyBG | May 12, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

I was watching "The Da Vinci Code" the other night, and is it me, or are Brads and Stecks forming the chalice?

I need to call Dr. Freud.

Anyways, does anyone have the television ratings for Game 6 in the DC area? I've been trying to find them but to no avail.

Posted by: Longgoneposter | May 12, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

And please don't throw trash on the ice if the good guys don't win.

Posted by: Section117 | May 12, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

@Section117: Let's save it for tomorrow and when you're in your seats, if it even happens. We all deal with disappointment differently and while we all should be held accountable for our actions, I don't think a sweeping warning to everyone here does the trick. I'm almost certain the Capitals will not give the home fans a reason to throw crap on the ice. Let's stay positive, yeah? =)

Let's GOOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 12, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@Section 117- How about hats? Can we throw them on the ice, if the situation warrants? ;-D Boy do I hope the situation warrants! GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: sparks3 | May 12, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

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