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Cory's Story: Tough day at practice

by Cory Schneider / Vancouver Canucks

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.

VANCOUVER -- Practice was tough today. A lot of pucks were going in during that 3-on-0 drill, so I was kind of frustrated at the end. You just have those days when guys are making good shots. Sometimes everything that can go in does go in. You deal with it, but today was a particularly tough day. We've done that drill plenty of times and I've made plenty of saves. I'm more mad myself than anything. I need to mix in a save or two.

After Kevin Bieksa scored on me, he wiped out while skating backwards. It may have seemed funny to people looking on, but I thought he was hurt. I was just making sure he got up all right. After that, though, it was funny.

As a backup who doesn't get to play all that much in the playoffs, you have to try to find a way to contribute any way you can. Practice is a time when I can help the guys get better when they want to stay out for extra work. In that sense, that's my role right now -- finding a way to help the guys get better. It's tough because you have to be ready at any moment. At the same time, you're into it and as caught up as the players are. Sometimes even more.

Occasionally, when guys come off the ice during the game, I'll let them know if I see something that can help them. I don't want to sit there and be a back-seat driver and tell them how to do things. But every now and then, they'll ask me what I see in a goalie. If they make a move or take a shot, they'll ask me if that was a good idea or a bad idea. There's always some dialogue about what may or may not work out there.

In the regular season, there was one time when my advice worked out, but I can't for the life of me remember who it was who took the advice. Someone asked me a question, I answered them, then they went out and scored. I've predicted goals before where I tell guys between periods they're going to score and they've scored. It wasn't a Sedin or Kesler. It was someone like Jannik Hansen or Raffi Torres. I like to think I'm prophetic in that way.

On the nights before games and game days, we're staying at hotels to avoid distractions. A lot of guys have kids, so I think the team just wanted guys to have some peace and quiet. It simulates what life is like on the road where there's nothing to focus on but hockey. Some guys want to be around their families, but I think there's some peace and solitude in staying in the hotel that helps get them ready. We've had a lot of success doing it, so we're sticking with it now.

The atmosphere in the city has been amazing. There's been so much support. I've gotten a few drive-by shoutouts that are always fun. You could even tell the difference in the level of support from last series to this series. It's not so much people stopping me for autographs or pictures as much as it is people yelling out my name as I walk by. They might not even realize it's me until they walk past me.

All the comments on my blog are really great. Maybe I'm in the wrong profession. Maybe I should start a blog or become a writer. I was a finance major at Boston College, so I had to write some papers every now and then when I had to. It certainly wasn't my strong suit. But it's nice to know everyone is enjoying this.
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