Penguins, Senators on their pre-Game 7 speeches

One of the most underrated aspects of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Eastern Conference Final series is the contrast between coaches Mike Sullivan and Guy Boucher.

You have one famous for turning the Pittsburgh Penguins into a high-octane fast-skating team, and the other infamous for grafting the 1-3-1 defensive system onto the Senators’ skeleton like boring adamantium. You have one guy who looks like a gym teacher and another who looks like a Bond villain. You have one who sounds like a classic rock station when he talks, and the other who sounds like an emo song.

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Witness their Game 7 comments, when essentially asked the same question: Is there going to be some special pregame speech, or something said, to their players before this do-or-die game?

First up, Mike Sullivan:

Well, listen, I think we’ve got a great opportunity in front of us, and that’s what we discussed with our players this morning. It’s a great opportunity. We’ve worked so hard to put ourselves in this position all year long, and we’ve got a great opportunity. We’ve got to embrace it. We’ve got to get excited about it. And I think our players are excited to play.

And now, Guy Boucher:

Yeah, but I won’t say it here. I don’t think it’s a day of special messages. It’s more a day reminding yourself how and why you got here and making sure that that’s what your focus is. You don’t want to have a focus on doing something new and extraordinary that’s just going to get us out of our identity us out of our strengths. And I think it’s one of those days the players have to fuel together, and that’s been our strength all year. Togetherness — I don’t know if that’s a word. If it’s not, let’s invent it. I think it’s been our motto for a long, long time, and our success came from that. So that’s what we have to have in our minds this morning. That’s why we came. It’s a long day, 8:00 game. It’s sit and wait for the game. I think it’s more to come in and think less and just be together.

For the record, “togetherness” is both a word and a short-lived comedy on HBO from the Duplass brothers.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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