A friend of mine tipped me off onto an appearance by Brad May during this past Friday’s edition of Hockey Central.
While emphasizing the importance of momentum and how pivotal game four would be for the New York Rangers, May recalled his own game four experience from the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals when the Anaheim Ducks were playing the Ottawa Senators.
“I just know when, in the Stanley Cup Final we played against Ottawa, we won the first two games like New York did, although (they) did it on the road,” May explained. “We lost game three and we recognized that that game four, if you lose that one, all of a sudden all of the momentum has completely shifted.”
When asked whether game four was the game when Alfredsson shot the puck at Scott Niedermayer, May continued regaling the Hockey Central with his story.
“Yeah, he shot it and hit Scotty there late in the second period – which actually fuelled our team. And Scott Niedermayer, think of all the excitement and energy and emotion, he settled us down with one of the greatest speeches in our locker room. It was a terrific moment.”
Just to add a little more context, at the time of the Alfredsson’s shot, the score was 2-2 and the outcome of the game was still in question.
“Right after that, between the second and third period, because we were all angry. Lose a little bit of focus that now we’re focusing on Daniel Alfredsson and Scotty basically, and he never swears or raises his voice, his speech was terrific.”
When asked what it was that Niedermayer said, May replied, “’We’ve got these guys exactly where we want them. They’ve lost their composure. Their captain has done something out of character and guys, right now, we know they’re the wounded team and we have to pounce on them. We have to win the third period and game four we have to win. Enough of your bull**** around the locker room, guys focus.’
“We were angry at that moment and he said, ‘Enough’s enough in this locker room,’ and then you could hear a pin drop for the rest of the intermission. It was a terrific moment, I’m telling you. It was one of the most profound moments of that two and a half month run was Scotty talking.
“As soon as we came in (to the locker room), he was animated and out of character, but that’s what captains do. They seize that moment and you don’t have to say a lot, but he leads by example as a player, for sure. But, when he spoke in the locker room and certainly when he raised his voice and spoke the way he did, because it’s out of his character, we all sat back and listened and took note.”
Even though this portion of May’s appearance only lasted about two minutes, it was fascinating to listen to and added some interesting inside perspective into what was going through the minds of the opposing players shortly at the time. If you haven’t already, check it out via this link here – May’s comments begin approximately six minutes into the show.