I haven't been sleeping well. Nerves? I guarantee it. Anxiety, always thinking about the game and what's next. It sucks because I'm trying to rest and my mind is racing, but I don't want to get ahead of myself because we've got such a battle on our hands against the Avalanche, but I think, Wow, if we win this series, then we only need four more wins, and I start thinking about the Stanley Cup, and my mind starts reeling, and I can't sleep a wink. It's brutal.
Friday, May 28
No one said it was going to be a short series. We got away from our game plan tonight and gave Colorado too many odd-man rushes and offensive chances. We fell behind 2-0 in the first 4:54 but hung in to make a game of it. Jamie Langenbrunner scored a power-play goal in the second period to cut the lead in half, and in the last part of the third period Coach had me playing on Nieuwendyk's line to try to get something going. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This time the strategy worked. I tied the game with 3:53 to play. The goal was set up because of good forechecking by Langenbrunner and Nieuwendyk. I controlled a bouncing puck and shot it as hard as I could. I didn't really look for a spot. I just wanted to get it on net, and fortunately it went in the five hole.
In the overtime both teams had their chances, but Colorado rookie Chris Drury scored in the last minute of OT to tie the series 2-2. It was disappointing to lose after battling back, but it's not as if we're down. Now we go back to Dallas with home ice advantage.
Someone told me the goal I scored tied me with Henri Richard and my dad, Bobby, on the career playoff points list, with 129. That's pretty good company. My dad hasn't been to any of these games. He knows the last thing we need is a lot of distractions. He doesn't need to call. I know he's there.
Saturday, May 29
Now it's a two-out-of-three series. I feel good. It's been fantastic, every game. For the most part it's been real clean—hockey the way it's supposed to be played, teams with contrasting styles battling head-to-head. Both clubs had 45 shots last night, but many of the Avalanche's came off the rush, and many of ours came from battling down low and in the corners.
We had another power-play meeting, and the word was for us to keep battling. That's all we can do. Try to penetrate the forces. Hitchcock is a war buff and uses military analogies a lot. As a communicator, he's deep, so when he talks to you it takes awhile to figure out his language. But once you do, it makes sense. He's a relentless worker, all X's and O's. He won't quit until he's found a way to beat a team. He's easy to get along with, not one of those guys who holds grudges. If you have a bad game, he lets you know it, but he doesn't hold it against you. He knows you're human. And he's very excitable behind the bench.
I hate to sound overconfident, but if you're not confident, you can't play well. With the way our guys are playing and the way the series has gone, I like our position.
Sunday, May 30