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NHL Playoff Quotebook: The authoritative guide to quotes and cliches for every situation

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There are lots of series scenarios in the playoffs. It's important to remember what to say when.

"Chip and chase, boys, don't forget your quotebooks in there."
"Chip and chase, boys, don't forget your quotebooks in there."
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As the NHL playoffs -- the best, craziest, most exasperating nightly tournament in all of sports -- get underway, it's helpful for players to remember what they need to say in post-game scrums.

With the elevated importance of each game comes intensified media coverage, which in turn elevates the importance of nailing each cliche -- and the correct cliches -- just right. So no "we're in the driver's seat" or "our backs are against the wall" or talk of "desperation"...until it's time.

We searched* thousands of rolls of microfilm, news clippings, and web pages over the last 32 years of playoff history, put it in a database, and gleaned the most important phrases proven to have a positive impact on the playoff game that followed.

*No we didn't.

To help players stick to script, based on that research here's a helpful cheat sheet for every possible series score, home and away. These are elite athletes with programs for eating, working out, sleeping, conditioning...the last thing they need is to speak without a guide.

After Game 1

Your Team Leads 1-0

IF AT HOME: "It's nice to get that first one out of the way. We did some good things, and hopefully we can do those again tomorrow to put the pressure on them."

IF ON THE ROAD: "You want to start off strong. It's great to get a road win right away and take back home ice, but we have more to do here. They are going to be desperate tomorrow, so we have to be ready for that."

Your Team Trails 1-0

IF AT HOME: "It's not how we wanted to start, that's for sure. But there's no panic in this room. it's a long series. We just have to get it back tomorrow. We owe our fans a better show."

IF ON THE ROAD: "We did some good things, but obviously we have to be better tomorrow. We know it's best-of-seven, not best-of-one."

After Game 2

You're never in trouble until you've lost your first home game

Your Team Leads 2-0

IF AT HOME: "We haven't won anything yet. But we took care of business here, and that's what we wanted to do. In the playoffs, you're never in trouble until you've lost your first home game."

IF ON THE ROAD: "We're not taking anything for granted. Home, road, it makes no difference to us. But yeah, it's great to take a lead back home and play in front of our fans."

Your Team Trails 2-0

IF AT HOME: "This isn't how anyone wanted to start, but it's a long series."

IF ON THE ROAD: "In the playoffs, you're never in trouble until you've lost your first home game. It will be good to be back there and hopefully even up the series...but we gotta take it one game at a time."

Your Team is Tied 1-1

IF AT HOME: "You know, we knew it was going to be a long series. Now it's best-of-five. That's a good team over there. We just have to win one in their building."

IF ON THE ROAD: "Hey, we did what we came here for: We got the split. At the beginning of the series, I think any of us would've been happy to have the series 1-1 heading back to our building. In the playoffs, you're never in trouble until you've lost your first home game."

After Game 3

That's a good team over there.

Your Team Leads 2-1, Having Won Game 3

IF AT HOME: "Winning one in their building didn't mean anything if we didn't win here on home ice. Oh...I mean, it also doesn't mean anything if we don't do the same thing tomorrow night."

IF ON ROAD: "It was important to get one back. We got home ice advantage back. That's a good team over there. We've got to be ready for them to come at us tomorrow."

Your Team Leads 2-1, Having Lost Game 3

IF AT HOME: "Just because we won in their building doesn't mean anyone thought this would be easy. They were desperate and it showed. You tip your hat to them."

IF ON ROAD: "In the playoffs, you're never in trouble until you've lost your first home game."

Your Team Trails 2-1, Having Lost Game 3

IF AT HOME: "Well, that's why it was so important for us to win one in their building. They're a dangerous team, home or road. If we win tomorrow, it's a new series. Best-of-three."

IF ON ROAD: "We knew they would be tough in their building, and they showed it tonight. But we did some good things. We just gotta do more of them tomorrow and really put the pressure on."

Your Team Trails 2-1, Having Won Game 3

IF AT HOME: "We knew not to panic. In the playoffs, you're never in trouble until you've lost your first home game."

IF ON ROAD: "That's a tough team over there, and we knew this would be a fight. But if we win tomorrow, it's a new series. Best of three."

The fourth win is the hardest to get

Your Team Leads 3-0

IF AT HOME: "We'd like nothing better than to win it at home for our fans. But we know the fourth win is the hardest to get."

IF ON ROAD: "We like where we are, but we haven't accomplished anything yet. That's a desperate team over there."

Your Team Trails 3-0

IF AT HOME: "We just have to take it one shift at a time. Give our fans something to cheer for. Show that desperation. You never know what can happen."

IF ON ROAD: "We feel we were in more games than we're getting credit for. We're right there, everyone in this room believes in ourselves. We gotta take their crowd out of it and bring it back home."

After Game 4

Your Team is Tied 2-2, Having Won Game 4

IF AT HOME: "That's what we needed to do, even it up and put the pressure back on them. It's a new series now."

IF ON ROAD: "We got home ice back. Now we just gotta use it."

It's a new series now.

Your Team is Tied 2-2, Having Lost Game 4

IF AT HOME: "When we won in their building we knew the same thing could happen here. We've proven we can win over there though. It's a new series. It's best-of-three now."

IF ON ROAD: "In the playoffs, you're never in trouble until you've lost your first home game."

Your Team Leads 3-1, Having Lost Game 4

IF AT HOME: "No one in this room said it would be easy. That's a desperate team over there."

IF ON ROAD: "No one in this room said it would be easy. That's a desperate team over there. But now we have a chance to clinch at home."

Your Team Leads 3-1, Having Won Game 4

IF AT HOME: "Certainly we like where we are. But that's a tough team over there and they've got a tough building to play in, so we know we have a tough task ahead."

IF ON ROAD: "That's what we wanted to do. Now we have the chance to clinch at home."

Your Team Trails 3-1, Having Lost Game 4

IF AT HOME: "We had a chance to tie and we didn't get it done, so we just made it harder on ourselves. But if we win tomorrow we'll take it back home and then we'll see what happens."

IF ON ROAD: "It'll be good to be back on home ice."

Your Team Trails 3-1, Having Won Game 4

HOME OR ROAD: "We said we'd take it one game at a time, and that's what we're gonna do. You never know." Note: This is when the coach will start to trial balloon the "Honestly the pressure's on them now" line.

After Game 5

We knew it would be a long series.

Your Team Leads 3-2, Having Won Game 5

IF AT HOME: "Certainly we like where we are. But that's a tough team over there and they've got a tough building to play in, so we know we have a tough task ahead."

IF ON ROAD: "That's what we wanted to do. Now we have the chance to clinch at home."

Your Team Leads 3-2, Having Lost Game 5

IF AT HOME: "We knew they weren't going to go down without a fight. That's a tough team over there and they've got a tough building to play in, so we know we have a tough task ahead."

IF ON ROAD: "If you told me at the beginning of the series that we'd have a chance to clinch at home in Game 6, I'd take it."

Your Team Trails 3-2, Having Won Game 5

IF AT HOME: "We did what we needed to do. Now if we take care of business in their building tomorrow, I like our chances in a Game 7 at home."

IF ON ROAD: "We just wanted to get the series back to our building, and that's what we've done."

Your Team Trails 3-2, Having Lost Game 5

IF AT HOME: "That's not how we wanted it to go, but if we take care of business in their building tomorrow, I like our chances in a Game 7 on home ice."

IF ON ROAD: "We knew this would be a tough place to play, but if we take care of business at home tomorrow then we'll get another crack at it in Game 7. Anything can happen in a Game 7. But, first things first."

After Game 6

Anything can happen in a Game 7.

Tied 3-3, Having Won Game 6

IF AT HOME: "We knew we'd feed off the crowd at home. Now anything can happen in a Game 7."

IF ON ROAD: "We just wanted to get it back to our building. If you told me at the beginning of the year we'd have one game to win it on home ice, I'd take it."

Tied 3-3, Having Lost Game 6

IF AT HOME: "Disappointed not to wrap it up at home, but we knew it would be a long series. Anything can happen in a Game 7."

IF ON ROAD: "We knew they'd be desperate over there, feeding off their home fans. But this is why you work all season for home ice. If you told me at the beginning of the year we'd have one game to win it on home ice, I'd take it."

After Game 7

YOU WON (HOME or ROAD): "It's a great feeling, but we'll just enjoy this tonight and then get ready for [NEXT CITY OR OPPONENT] tomorrow. This is what it's all about."

YOU LOST (HOME or ROAD): "It's an empty feeling. I really felt like this team could go further, so you're never happy with this. Your goal is always to win the Cup, and we didn't get it done."