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.
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.
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