<table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Our last day in Victoria was definitely a quick one. We left the hotel up at Bear Mountain at around 9 o’clock to go to the Save on Foods Memorial arena. There were tons of people waiting outside even though it was cold and raining. Now that’s dedication you can only get here.
The intra-squad game was really a lot fun and it was good to finally get into game mode. We haven’t really had this sort of game experience since the end of last season and we’ve been away from the game the whole summer. Training and drills is not the same so it was good to get the game under my belt.
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1407_camp20_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1407_camp20_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a> I know the arena was sold out – or at least that’s what I heard – but I was so focused on the game that the crowd was pretty much drowned out. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get a goal, I mean you always want to put the puck in the net but maybe it’ll happen here, which would be even better. You’ve just got to make the most out of your opportunities and take advantage where you can. The best part of the game is definitely the fact that Blue won.
The pace was definitely quick and because it was our first real game-type situation since all summer it took a little bit to get adjusted to but you quickly come around. I really enjoyed playing at that level, it’s good for me and it’s fun. I think it’s something that I’m ready for, hopefully for a long time to come. It was very cool to play with those guys because they’re all high caliber players but it’ll be even better when you don’t have to play your own teammates.
It’s very exciting to play in my first NHL game tonight, regardless whether it’s pre-season or otherwise. I just can’t wait to get started, it’s like a dream come true for sure. This is just one stepping stone in one of many goals I’ve set for myself. I’ve achieved this one but there are so many more ahead of me that I can’t lose focus of what I’m here to do.
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1607_camp01_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1607_camp01_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>I’m going into this the same way I do everything else and the same mindset I had going into training camp. There are obviously some nerves, as usual but I’m not going to make any drastic changes to my pre-game routine. I just have to go into this with confidence and bottom line is to have fun and work hard. I’m anxious to get out there and I can’t wait.
Reporters are always asking what I think is going to happen but honestly, I have no predictions for tonight. I’m only going to control what I can control and anything beyond that is beyond me. I’m going to stick to what to what I’ve always done and it’s just working hard and play my game.
I’m not sure what to expect but we’re playing the Stanley Cup Champions so it’s not going to be easy even though it is pre-season. Everyone’s always saying how pre-season doesn’t mean anything but I’m fighting for a job so of course it means something, every game should and does. The Ducks are going to be solid and we know they have a lot of talent so we just have to bring our game and hopefully come out with a win. </td></tr></table>