Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson will be keeping his own blog throughout the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. Stephenson will check in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.
Stephenson, 24, is in his first full season with the Capitals, who selected him in the third round (No. 77) of the 2012 NHL Draft. He had 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 67 regular-season games and has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
In Stephenson's fifth entry, he recalls his childhood dream of winning of the Stanley Cup, looks forward to the opportunity to do it for real in Game 5 of the best-of-7 series at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday (8 p.m ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS), and tells of his new dream of bringing the Cup to Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
LAS VEGAS -- When I was growing up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, of course I'd pretend that I won the Stanley Cup.
It usually happened in a street hockey game. It would be Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final right out in the street. You had tunes that you'd come out to before the game and your own little dressing room to get ready.
Or it would be playing in our basement, just kids goofing around and having fun.
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It still hasn't set in that we have a chance to win the Stanley Cup on Thursday. It's a little different feeling knowing that the Stanley Cup is going to be in the building, but it hasn't fully clicked yet that this could actually happen.
It's not set in stone. We still have to win one more game, and it's not won until that final buzzer goes.
But we're looking forward to it. We're expecting Vegas to play their best game. They're back at home, so we can't expect it's going to be a cakewalk or anything like that.
Video: Jamie Hersch on Vegas' mindset heading into Game 5
We'll do our usual routine Wednesday night: have dinner at the hotel and just hang out, get your rest, stay hydrated. It means more, but you have to look at it as any other hockey game.
If we do win, it has crossed my mind what I'd do with Stanley Cup. I'd like to bring it to Humboldt.
That town and the people there have been through so much with the bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos on April 6. To be able to do that is a little motivation in itself and something I'd like to do for those players who were affected and their families.
I know two of the Humboldt players, Kaleb Dahlgren and Brayden Camrud, because they skate with Casey Bartzen, the same instructor I work with during the summers.
I had no idea Kaleb was going to be at Game 4 in Washington on Monday. I skated around before the start of the game and looked over and saw him in the corner at the Zamboni entrance talking with Scott Oake from CBC.
I went around again and looked, and I wanted to get his attention by banging on the glass with my stick. But there were so many carpets on the ice, and I couldn't get to him. Then, I wanted him to come down after the game to introduce him to everyone and show him around, but I think he was already gone.
It was great just to have him there and see he was walking and being able to do everyday things again. Kaleb had some pretty severe injuries, so it was good to see he's doing well with his recovery and rehab.
I wasn't able to see him, but my brother, Colton, talked to him. It's something I hope I never have to go through or anybody wants to go through.
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So if we win the Stanley Cup, for my day I'd love to get Kaleb and Brayden and their teammates and whoever they want to invite out there just to see them. I haven't seen them since the accident.
What would be better than celebrating it with those guys and enjoying it with them?
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