The following is what I imagine what the coaches would say in each locker room for tonight's game seven:
If I were Dan Blysma, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins:
"Tonight boys, is a night made for heroes. We have dominated this team in 6 straight games. They have been lucky, but not tonight. We have to keep the puck deep, put pressure on their defensemen and get shots on Semyon Varlamov. The dam will break for us tonight. Don't mind the raucous crowd, what matters is in the rink.
Marc-Andre Fleury is going to make the saves, and we will come out victorious if we stick to our game plan. We can't lose. Hard work can beat talent when talent does not work hard. We need to be physical on their top guys but play smart. Dumb penalties is just as good as a goal in this game.
We are going to rely on our experienced players like Bill Guerin and Hal Gill and listen to our team leaders in Sid Crosby and others. Do the right things, and make those passes count. Boys, you know what you need to do. Now go do it."
If I were Bruce Boudreau, head coach of the Washington Capitals:
"I don't care what history says about this team. That was then. What matters is right now. We have faced down the barrel of elimination 4 times already this season. Who knows better what needs to be done but you guys, right here, right now.
Feed off of our fans, they will energize you. Feed off your teammates and they will come through for you. They can't beat us when we are at our best, and they have yet to see our best boys. They don't know how to play in a game seven. Crosby has never played in a game seven. We have. We know what it is like to lose a game like this, but we also know how to win a game like this.
We can't rely on Alex Ovechkin or Alex Semin to score all the goals. We will need effort from everyone of you. All of you must bring you "A" game, and you must work as a team. There is a job for each and every one of you and you need to do that job the best you can.
Varly will be our rock. He will make the saves, we just need to give him support. No open shots from the slot, keep those white shirts along the wall. Control the puck and don't run around out there. We dictate the play. We dictate the game.
There are a lot of people out there that would like to see us lose, but if something doesn't go our way, we need to forget it. Penalties will be called against us, it will happen, it's the world against us. But we are resilent. We recover. This is the night where history will be thrown out the window. There is only us.
This is our house, and this is our time."
Let's Go Caps!