Let's start with a phenomenal Game 1 between two really fast, hard-hitting teams and couple it with “Hey, Vancouver won.”
Let's start in net. My Canucks were a little shaky after a week off and Chicago was a little more jumpy. That first goal was so important. I'm glad Pavol Demitra is back on track and I think we have a long series ahead of us. There's a lot of confidence in the Blackhawks' young players. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are a nice little foursome.
I was on set but I managed to pop into my trailer intermittently. I had to leave at one point and it was 3-1. I thought, “Fantastic, we've got this one in the bag.” I came back just in time to see Sami Salo's goal when there was about three minutes left.. It was absolutely perfect. One little bad giveaway from Chicago.
We've got a bunch of basketball and hockey fans on the "Monk" set. I think I've recruited everyone on my set to become fans of not only the Canucks, but the entire NHL. We have the games on in the food trailer where we get snacks and coffee. We have people ushering scores to me on se, like a gravy train moving back and forth so one person works and one doesn't.
I had to leave for the ending but I saw the goal that mattered. I looked at the clock and said to myself again, “This is over.” This time, it worked out.
Vancouver looks fast and Chicago looks fast. I'm going to go out on a limb again and say we've got their number. In the last game of the season, we played them and we blanked them 4-0. I don't think Nikolai Khabibulin has won a game against the Canucks for like 100,000 years, give or take. I'm going to be ballsy and predict Canucks in five games. I give the Blackhawks one win because of the way fans rock-n-roll in Chicago. You’ve got to let them steal one in Chicago.
And look at that, I just got a 'five minute warning' to get back on set. Here I sit, Jason Gray-Stanford, talking to the hockey world at large through my blog on NHL.com and I just had to tell the entire set to get lost and let me finish up.
So I have to wrap this up.
In summary, if it ain't Canucks in five games, it's Canucks in seven. If they're not up and it goes the way the Chicago-Calgary went, there is no way we're going to go into that building in Game 6 and take an elimination game from them with their backs against the wall.
So boys, let's get this done in five.
JGS out. See you after Game 2.
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Author: Jason Gray-Stanford | Special to NHL.com