I love this quote – sums up playoff hockey perfectly. The sport’s speed and physicality create an abnormal intensity, and then you layer on the psychology of playing in shifts…
You skate your shift, a 45 second wind sprint while wearing about 15 pounds of gear, until you’re desperate for a breather; then you catch your breath and are desperate to get back out there but have to wait for your next shift. All to have your name forever engraved on the oldest trophy in North America and most hallowed in all of sport.
“It’s playoffs. They don’t want to go away,” Dupuis said after his goal gave the Penguins a 4-3 win and 4-2 series victory. “It’s human nature. You play for your life and you’re a desperate hockey club, and they were again tonight and they’ve played well and battled hard.”
Then, Dupuis added what people were wondering throughout much of this hard-fought series: “I think we showed that we’re back.”
The win marks the fifth straight series the Penguins have closed out on the road. Captain Sidney Crosby said Saturday finally produced a level of desperation that perhaps hadn’t been there through the first five games, and especially in a Game 5 triple-overtime loss that seemed to alter the personality of this series.
“We didn’t hand it to them, it went three overtimes,” said Crosby. “But, at the same time, I still think our desperation could have been a little better. It was good at times and it wasn’t where it needed to be at times.”