Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider has one of the best seats in the house for the Stanley Cup Final. As a backup, the native of Marblehead, Mass., gets to watch every second from the end of the bench, soaking in the tension in nearly the same way a fan would. He made an appearance in Game 6 of the conference quarterfinals, playing well before leaving during the third period with an injury against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Schneider is one the best young goaltenders in the League, and he'll be sharing his experiences throughout this series against the Bruins with NHL.com in his blog, Cory's Story. Following Game 1, he talked about his hectic day and first experience with the Stanley Cup Final.
With a 5 p.m. start, it was a pretty hectic day.
Last night was the first time when it hit me that the Stanley Cup Final was here. With the eight days off between rounds, you don't really think about it a lot. Last night, I started to get excited. I felt butterflies. You think about it a whole lot more. You get excited to go. You could definitely tell it was right around the corner.
Sleeping wasn't a problem for me. I'm actually a pretty good sleeper so I sleep a lot. Once I'm asleep, it takes a lot to wake me up. I can sleep through anything. At the rink this morning, there was some nervous energy, but some excited energy.
There's not much time between the morning skate and game time when it's at 5 p.m., but you have to get the nap in there. We stayed at the hotel just to get guys away from the distractions. I had a meal there after practice, went back to my room and made some phone calls.
I grabbed a 90-minute nap and went right back to the rink. It's a pretty short day.
As a backup, it's far more nerve-wracking to watch than it is to play. When you're playing, it's pretty hectic but you feel confident and calm in the net. Tonight, I was talking to guys who didn't dress for the game. They're in the lounge just biting their nails. It's really hard to just sit there and watch, but I've got a lot of faith in the guys out there.
We were really coming in the third period. It took two periods to get our legs and get our timing down. I thought in the third period we were really pressing the action. To score in the last minute is incredible. Everyone was thinking if it went to overtime, it could be a long night. It was special to get that goal from Raffi.
I didn't have any family from back home in Massachusetts at the game. My father made it out to the game. None of my buddies did. It's a pretty expensive trip out here. I'll just wait till we get back to Boston to see my friends.