Ovechkin: "Next Game is Gonna Be Different"
There was a lot of talk about luck tonight. Both teams dominated stretches of the game. Both teams had chances to win. Sure, the Penguins earned their final chance by getting on the power play, and sure, Evgeni Malkin bulled his way past Sergei Fedorov to set up the goal, but still, Tom Poti and Shaone Morrisonn both have game-winners in this series, both for the wrong team. There's at least a little bit of randomness in something like that.
Now, if you are of or for the Penguins you say something like "you make your own luck, friend." Here was how Sidney Crosby put it, when asked if the hockey gods were on the Penguins' side.
"Um, maybe," he said. "You've got to work hard to get the bounces, though, and we hit two crossbars the second half of the game or whatever it was. And those go in, and we're not talking about overtime. So we've created a lot of good opportunities, and sometimes they haven't gone in, but they've found a way to even out. So you work hard for those breaks, and that's just the way hockey goes."
And if you are of or for the Capitals, you say something like "man, drat." Here was how Bruce Boudreau put it, when asked about the game winner.
"Both their overtime goals have actually been scored by our guys, so it's an unlucky break," he said. "I though tit was our best game of the series. I mean, they still get 42 shots They're a very good team, they come at you and they can skate, and holding them to few shots is gonna be very difficult, but I thought we had as many chances as they did, I thought we had the energy that they did, and I thought we played a really good game that was decided in overtime. I mean, you can't get closer than that. One shot, [David] Steckel puts it in in overtime, we're sitting here and we're talking a different tune, there's all different questions and we're all happy. On this side of the microphone, anyway."
Or how about Tom Poti, the man whose stick was actually responsible for the re-direct.
"I don't think there's anything I'd do different again," he said. "It's just an unlucky bounce and there's nothing you can really do about it."
Here's the victimized goalie, Simeon Varlamov: "It's always hard when you play in overtime and you allow a silly goal like this," he said. "Twice now, because the first overtime game, again it was a silly deflection, but as they say the winners make their own luck, so there's nothing we can say about that."
Or, as Alex Ovechkin said, "It was kind of a lucky goal, but it's a goal."
"You can see first shift [of overtime], Stecks miss empty net and I say, 'Jesus, where is our luck?' " Alex Ovechkin added. "Puck bouncing, and next shift they get power play and score goal. It's not about when you score the last five minutes of the game, it's all about when you play hard, how we want to play and how we can play. I think today we played good, but it's not good enough, so next game is gonna be different. There was in that situation when they [were losing] 2-0, and they come back and they winning right now. But it's not over yet. If somebody thinks it's over, it's not over."
(Ovechkin was gangsta with his quotes all night. "We have opportunity to win the game and we lost and we disappointed," he opened with, "but we're gonna come back here again Game 7. That's our goal."
"If we gonna play same way how we play first two periods we're gonna win this series," he added later.)
(And to be fair, both superstars sort of qualified their statements. Like, here's Crosby, seeing it from the Caps' point of view: "They're a good hockey team, and it's back and forth, these games come down to mistakes and bounces and we've been able to make a few less [mistakes] here and got a good bounce there on that last goal." And here was Ovechkin on the game-winner, after saying the team doesn't feel snakebit: "It's all about mistakes, and if you make some mistakes probably players gonna score goals. The kind of mistakes we make, give Malkin too many chances....It's all about mistakes.")
That's all fine, but the best quote I heard still came from Pens' defenseman Brooks Orpik, who was asked if the sound of silence after the game-winner was the best sound in the world. He paused. Then he said that the sound of silence in Philadelphia was better.
"That's just because the fans here, the fans here are a lot classier,"* Orpik said. "But that was pretty good, that was a pretty good second."
* Offer does not include the fans who shouted homophobic slurs about Sidney Crosby, nor the fan I saw who punched a Penguins fan in the mouth in a concession line drawing blood, nor the dozens of fans who threw bottles and balls (?) and pom-poms onto the ice in overtime.
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