Ryan Whitney, Team USA: "It was me and Ryan Malone, we had a thing in Pittsburgh. We would mess around and make fun of things we didn't do well. I would tell him to skate fast and he would tell me to be physical. We would get the boys laughing.
"We got to the rink around 9:30 or 10. I think I ate around 8:30 with Bugsy Malone and Brooks Orpik and a couple other guys. There was so much nervous energy. Everything went by so quick. You felt like you were getting ready for the game from the moment you woke up."
Paul Stastny, Team USA: "As the game got closer, butterflies started. You get nervous before every game. That's just part of the business. It's tough to beat the same team twice in a short tournament. The pressure was on them, but after we beat them, we had expectations that we were going to win. ... Guys were focused. We had Whitney, he was doing a good job in the locker room of keeping everyone calm. He kept it light in there. He did a good job of pumping everyone's tires and getting everyone loose. ... It's one of those games where you don't need speeches."
Rick Nash, Team Canada: "I've always said that once you get to the rink, time doesn't really matter to me. Once you take your suit off and get into your clothes to go onto the ice, half hour before warm-up, hour and a half, you start stretching -- whatever it may be -- once you get to the rink, there's never been any time for me. I've always been very set on game day."
Ed Olczyk, color commentator, NBC: "I had the feeling that we were on the verge of something real special, considering how the tournament went. Just kind of everything leading up to it. It did have the feeling of one of those unique days -- expect the unexpected, people were going to see the best of the best."
Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner: "I remember the excitement in the city walking the streets was palpable. It was like nothing else in the world besides the gold-medal game existed.
"The streets were mobbed and the restaurants were mobbed and the bars were mobbed. I remember we went for lunch around lunchtime and they told us, you have to be out in 45 minutes because we've sold the table for the entire afternoon."
Patrick Sharp, Team Canada, 2014: "I went back to my hometown in Thunder Bay [Ontario] and watched all the games. I followed the tournament pretty closely. I just remember thinking how big a stage it was, and maybe it was because I was back in Canada, I'm not sure, but I felt I was nervous myself just watching the games. I was thinking, 'This is as big a stage for hockey as it can get.'"
Duncan Keith, Team Canada: "I was walking to the bus to head to the game. I was walking by myself and I remember thinking how nervous I was and anxious and excited. I just remember feeling, I'd never been that nervous before a game in my entire life."
Hearing the frenzied crowd, feeling the tension while getting dressed in their respective locker rooms, reinforced to the players what was riding on this game. A record average of 27.6 million Americans and 16.6 million Canadians -- half of the country's population, in the case of the latter -- were tuning in to watch.
Patrick Kane: "To be honest with you, I don't think we knew how crazy it was going to be when we got there."