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Volume 26 No. 65
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Weekend Plans With NHL Network's E.J. Hradek

Hradek (l) pictured during a loose moment on the set of "NHL Now" with Mike Rupp
Photo: NHL Network

NHL Network's E.J. HRADEK had a quick turnaround from Boston to St. Louis after Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night. Credit to him for still finding time to catch up with THE DAILY while on the tarmac at the St. Louis airport. Hradek, who co-hosts “NHL Now” each day on-site throughout the Finals, dished on the Bruins-Blues series so far, plans to sneak in a Cardinals game Friday night and where he'll score a steak on his visit to the Midwest. 

THOUGHTS ON SERIES SO FAR: Two distinctly different games. Boston played much better in Game 1 -- really dominated the last 40 minutes. But then St. Louis was able to find a way to win Game 2. Being in Boston was fun. They’ve won about 100 championships there in the last 15-20 years. It’s a fun city, easy to get around and people are obviously really into the sports scene. Fun few days there, but I will say for late May we didn't have much luck with the weather. Mostly just cold and rainy. We were hoping to get out to Fenway Park Tuesday night. The Red Sox ended up playing but I was not going to sit there in 45-degree rain. 

WEEKEND AGENDA: Thursday we had some down time and I watched Game 2 over again to get another look for our show. Friday night my former partner STEVE MEARS and I are going to head over to Busch Stadium for Cubs-Cardinals. Then Saturday is Game 3. We’ve got the morning skate and then our show comes on 3:00-5:00pm CT. Once that wraps, I go down and do a bench interview as well as a hit for the NHL Int’l broadcast. I’m covering the Bruins, so after the game, if they win, I’ll do walk-off interviews with them. If the Blues win, I do some work with BARRY MELROSE and then that’s that. We get into Sunday, and by then who knows what’s going on. Might be time for a good dinner somewhere. 

GATEWAY TO THE WEST: It’s funny, I haven’t spent much time here in St. Louis. Now that I do a studio show throughout the season, I don’t get to as many arenas as I used to in my previous life with ESPN Magazine. Then I would do a lot more traveling and get to many more rinks. Now I'm doing a show five days a week. The last time I was here was for the Winter Classic a couple years ago, and that was just a day-and-a-half trip. We’re in the Midwest. I’d love to get a good steak. I think there’s a Ruth's Chris somewhere near our hotel, so that’s a possibility. But the big thing for me is to go the Cardinals game. That should be a lot of fun, and looks like we have good weather.

OUTSIDE THE RINK: I don’t get to the offseason until maybe mid-July with our coverage of the league. But this summer, I’ll be an assistant coach for my 15-year-old BROOKSTier 1 Jersey Shore Whalers. We’ll have some summer tournaments taking up some of my time. Then the last five or six years, I’ve gotten bitten by the golf bug. If I get a chance I’ll get out there and play. But I have three children, so we'll see how that goes.

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