Shrapnel - 11/8/11

Good morning!

It's election day for our readers in the US. While you aren't here for my political views (and this isn't the appropriate place to share them), I will ask you to please vote. I don't care who you vote for or against, but please, please vote.

On the Jackets' side of things, the fact that there is no news is itself news.

Well, actually, that's not entirely true. We have had some news. I'd go so far as to say it's good news, even. But it's not the news that everyone expected, so instead everyone is abuzz and we will wait to see what happens. Alex Stallings is scrutinizing the roster at THW, Cam Charron looks at the decade of misery, the Dirty Dangle discusses the play of Steve Mason, and PHT wonders if the team is beyond fixing, but Hockey Prospectus looks at the numbers and suggests there are reasons for hope.

Over at Puck Daddy they also bring up the goaltending as an issue, but say that Howson had no backup plan if Mason struggled, which is untrue. Everyone seems to have forgotten about Mark Dekanich. Is he a savior? No. But would he be an improvement in net? Yes, all the numbers seem to suggest that, and it might make a very big difference in the team's confidence if nothing else. According to reports from the Dispatch over the weekend, Dex is on track to take some conditioning starts in Springfield this weekend. If all goes well, he could be back in Columbus for the match against the Wild on the 15th. Before the Jackets make a big goaltending trade, as some have clamored for, it might be a good idea to see what they have in house.

At Crimespree Hockey, they're calling on Milli Vanilli and looking at who might actually be at fault for some of the team's goals against. Down Goes Shelley started a move tracker, and Jeff Little tried to sum up the news of the weekend with a bit of historical perspective, and The Cannon Report released their latest podcast.

Unsurprisingly, there was also more reactions to Ken Hitchcock taking over in St. Louis, and some of his early moves.

There are questions about how he will adapt to the changing NHL, Hitch himself puts more rumors to bed, Justtin Bourne strongly disagrees with the move, particularly the timing, and Martini Hockey just says farewell.

A non-hockey article with some very interesting hockey implications: Despite supposed improvements, a Cleveland Clinic study suggests that modern football helmets are no better than old "leatherhead" protection.  If football helmets are in such a drastic need of a redesign, you have to think that hockey equipment manufacturers can and should take notice to re-evaluate their own gear.

Something a little more fun from Icethetics: More Winter Classic jersey theories!

LTL looks at the improving OSU men's hockey team, and points out they'll be playing on Friday and Saturday at home.

Over at the National Post, Patrick Burke is talking to athletes and the gay community about the legacy of his brother.

At the Dispatch, Aaron Portzline interviews Rick Nash about the burdens he carries.

A nasty scene from last night's action - Daniel Paille moved up to block a Steve Staios slapshot and was struck directly in the face. Amazingly, Paille left under his own power and will be seeing specialists today for a badly broken nose, but otherwise appears to be fine. By contrast, George Parros was struck by a similar shot witout wearing a visor and was forced to undergo eye surgery.

Over at DBJ, he has a little fun with reports that Jackets' coaching candidates were asked about trees, while Anze Kopitar steps in front of a camera out in LA. Hey, NHL network, want to do something fun? Instead of running 10,000 commercials for "the IRON GYM" or "MySpeedyToaster.com", get all of these PSAs and advertisements featuring NHL players. Run them! Even if they don't help some of the local businesses they were produced for as much as airing them to a targeted regional audience, it's still featuring NHL product and giving fans something relevant and interesting. I'd be far less likely to flip channels during On The Fly's commercial breaks if I could see more spots like this or the crazy Alex Ovechkin Mr. Big ads.

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