Fortunately, Phoenix's roster features several players who know what it takes to make a deep run into the playoffs, including newcomers Raffi Torres
and Antoine Vermette
“This is what you play for,” said Torres, who has played in 53 NHL postseason games, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance with Edmonton in 2006 and another one with Vancouver in 2011. “You’re playing on the biggest stage and you really see what you’re made of. I love it.”
Vermette, who has played in 42 NHL postseason games and helped Ottawa reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2007, agreed with Torres.
“This group of guys has worked hard all year,” Vermette said. “We still have to put more into it but it’s a lot of fun as a player when you’re in this position right now.”
While fun, Vermette warned that the road to the Stanley Cup Final is a long one from this point.
“You don’t want to look too long ahead, you just take one game at a time,” Vermette said. “It’s cliché, but that’s reality, that’s the way you take it. You try to come to the rink, prepare yourself for the game and you move on. It’s not easy, but that’s what makes it so special, so much fun.”
Not only does the postseason bring out the best in many players, but Torres and Vermette say it also can create some amazing memories, too.
“Those are the times I’ll never forget. Although I’ve come short in two Game 7’s, it’s still something I’ll never forget,” said Torres, who scored the game-winning goal in Game 1 of last year’s Stanley Cup Final. “A lot of things had to go right and a lot of people had to step up in order to get where you are, and it’s not easy.”
Vermette has fond playoff memories, too.
“It’s a very special moment and you cherish that moment,” he said. “When you play street hockey as a kid you see yourself in the future playing those types of games, so when you’re a little bigger kid, as we are, and you have a chance to experience that in reality, it’s a lot of fun.”