Wednesday picks: Bruins over Habs 

April, 27, 2011

A memorable first round comes to an end with two Game 7s tonight. If either of them is anywhere near as good as the epic Vancouver Canucks-Chicago Blackhawks finale, we're in for another terrific evening.

I have to offer a tip of the cap to the Canucks, who rose to the occasion under some significant pressure. In the recent past, in these types of situations, the Canucks wilted in the heat of the spotlight. That was not the case last night. They hit the ice ready for the battle. They worked in all three zones and they didn't give the Hawks too much room to operate.

Really, if it weren't for Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, the Canucks might have advanced out of Game 7 with a lot less drama. Crawford was simply brilliant keeping his team in the game, calmly making several huge saves throughout the intense night. If they didn't know it before this series, the Hawks now know for certain that they can go forward with Crawford in the crease.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.