FanPost

Coach 'em up -- my pre-game speech

Gentlemen -- after over 100 hockey games we stand here, today, in a very familiar location.

I know there are very few of you who have played in a winner-take-all game for the Stanley Cup, but we've all been there. As children, skating around ponds, community centers, practicing, honing our skills. We've all scored the championship clinching goal in backyards, basements, and on basketball courts.

Now, it's for real.

This is the one moment that has carried us through slumps at every level, endless injuries, tantrums and days when you just don't feel like getting your work in. This moment has been teasing everyone in this room for years. There's not one man here who's ached for this moment after playoff defeats and, worse, teams not even making it this far.

Now, it's upon us.

There's been countless words published about this game, this series. Every single word that's been read, posted on bulletin boards, mentioned either in or out of context, been analyzed among various experts on various networks is now completely irrelevant.

Now, it's our turn to write history.

Roberto -- tonight, there are not only going to be the thousands of people standing behind you, cheering you on, but millions of people who will stand with you, living and breathing in your successes and failures. You know what to do -- do not let these people down.

Hank and Danny -- You two finally got on the board Monday, that was good. However, tonight, we are going to do anything and everything to make your tallies stand up and produce silver. Fight as hard as you possibly can. We'll take care of you two.

Alex -- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get sucked into the mind games of the Bruins. You're on the first line for a damn good reason. Play your game as hard as you can. You've been our man in overtime -- if we need to go there -- don't think for a second we won't go to you again. But only if you play your game, not theirs.

Kes -- Game time, big guy. Ohio State's taken a ton of shots in the media these past couple weeks -- what say you get people to notice what they do well tonight? Remember, Mase can't go tonight, so you and Chris have a toughie ahead of you. But I have confidence.

Tico -- Get out there and drill someone. But remember to use your head, don't take a bad penalty, and absolutely do not flip out.

Manny -- It's your time. You are now the spark in the Rogers Arena powder keg. Anything you do well will reverberate and spread throughout the entire team. Hopefully it gives us a boost. Can you imagine if you scored?

Sami -- I know your body's taken a lot of shots over the years. Tonight, it's time to put a final salve on all your wounds. Play the body. Get in front of it if he shoots quick.

Defenders -- Obstruct, don't destruct. Bobby Lu's great, but we've got to do our part and help him out. Play smart, get back.

Now that everyone's gone through their rituals, walked their seawalls, done things I can't possibly imagine, we come back here, into the moment that we've all imagined since we could barely lace 'em up. We've come a long ways to make this possible, gentlemen. We've played hard all year to get this one game... sixty minutes of hockey... And now we have it. In our house.

All I have to say is there's thousands of people out there who have the same dreams you do -- of winning a championship. They have only seen it happen in their heads and have no idea how to make it happen in real life.

Let's show them how it's done, proving to them -- and to you -- that every struggle is worth it, every bad day can topped with ultimate success, every bad injury can turn into something beautiful.

But most importantly, prove it to yourselves you are the best team on the ice.

Game time.

--GoodKeith

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