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Jason Gray-Stanford - Tonight's the night!

Wednesday, 04.15.2009 / 2:12 PM / NHL Celeb Blogs

By Jason Gray-Stanford - Special to NHL.com

Blog 1 - Wednesday, April 15

Growing up in Canada, the simple fact is that hockey's in your blood. Part of my childhood was spent sitting in front of the TV and turning on Coach's Corner to see Don Cherry and the old Vancouver Canucks.

It was always so prevalent in our household... Hockey Night in Canada! Dun dun dun dun... What can you do? It was kind of like the deal was sealed right from birth.

This season we certainly had an interesting start: we didn't look too sharp coming in from the end of last year, then waiting around for Sundin and a couple of injuries on the bench.

But we came out of it and played pretty hot over the last couple of games and we played phenomenal at home. Watching the race for the playoff spot was spectacular, going from sixth to third in the West and then we had a great surge, especially the last week and a half, when we beat Chicago then showed up Calgary (which is always good!).

But the Blues... that's one team I didn't necessarily want to draw. If there's another team in the West that's equally as hot as we are, it's them. Mason, their goalie, is playing some serious hockey right now.  We all know if you get into the playoffs and you have a strong goalie anything can happen. But compare him to Luongo and it's a wash. So, where's our advantage? 

We have a lot more depth and a lot more speed.  If it were up to me -- I wish we could have pulled Chicago, despite the fact that they're a hot, young team (I'm still wondering how they're going to fare over Calgary).

I can't wait until tonight; I'm thrilled we have home ice advantage. Maybe Vancouver isn't as "storied" as Toronto or Montreal but Vancouver hockey fans are crazy and intense... we know our stuff.

We're not afraid to get on the guys when they're slacking, but on the same token, we're their biggest supporters when the team is rocking and rolling.

So here's to an opening-day win! Check back often, as I'll be blogging as much as possible. Until then, go Canucks!



The views expressed on any blogs appearing on NHL.com are those of the bloggers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NHL, its teams, officers, officials, players or other affiliates.

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense