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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

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!

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Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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