Friday, September 28, 2012

Summit Series '72, Game 8. "No Espo, You didn't win 5-4."

Program from the Moscow portion of the series

A collection of post-game quotes after Canada's improbable comeback victory.

"This is the happiest moment of my career," Henderson said.

Ken Dryden added, "This had to feel greater than winning the Stanley Cup." He added, “Better write something about that guy,” pointing to Esposito as he stripped off his pads. “Didn’t he show us just what kind of a hockey player he is – just how great he is?”

Phil Esposito stated bluntly,"I was more emotional in this series than I ever was in the Stanley Cup." He added, “What got me so motivated? Mostly it was the humiliation in that first game in Montreal … the fans who booed in Vancouver and some of the crap we had to read the papers. Alright, I’ll be explicit … the crap on the editorial pages.”

“We have one thing the Russians haven’t got – heart,” Gary Bergman said. “They take it as a game, not as an episode in life."

Harry Sinden made a point of going to the news conference dominated by European writers after the game. "All of you criticized the professional player for playing only for money," he said. "This series has proved their integrity and their character."

Boris Kulagin, Russian assistant said,"This is what happens when two great teams meet. We were not weaker than the Canadian team in this game. We lacked a little supporting luck."

“Told you we’d never lose another,” Eddie Johnston said, reminding all of his predictions after Team Canada blew a 4-1 lead with 11 minutes to play in the opener of what could have been a four-game sweep here. “They ain’t ever going to beat us never.”

On his interference penalty in the first period that lead to his expulsion from the match, J.P. Parise exclaimed,"It was a good, honest check. Maltsev had the puck and I hit him. Then I got called for interference. You can't be called for interference when you're checking a man with the puck - cross-checking, charging, boarding, maybe - but not interference.

Watch it for yourself here.

Esposito tried to explain how the winning goal came about. "I was behind the net and I saw Henderson flying in. I fired on the net and the rebound went to Paul and he put it away."
He then tried to outline how he scored his second goal, which gave Canada the lead for the first time. "Pete (Mahovlich) got the puck in the corner and flipped it out. I knocked it down with my hand right in front of the net. Then I juggled it a bit and slapped it in."
"After that, we got one more goal and we won the whole thing 5-4. I remember every detail. I'll never forget that moment."
"No, Espo," a reporter said, "you didn't win it 5-4. You won it 6-5. There were two more goals scored."
The big centre from Boston Bruins looked stunned:
"We did: Was that the score? Was that what happened?"

Ken Dryden summed it up with a prophetic assessment, “When we look back on this series in 20 years, it’ll have been the most important.”

Well deserved celebration.

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