I'd just like to say a couple things before we get to the links...
There is lots of business to take care of this weekend, folks! In case you forgot, the home opener is TONIGHT! Wear your colors proud, welcome the boys back from Sweden, and cheer them on to victory against Chicago!!!
Don't forget, tomorrow night the Jackets officially hit the road and take on conference rival Minnesota. Remember how bad our team has been on the road in the past? Well not anymore! This year is going to be very special, can you feel it?
Lets Go Jackets!:
- I've never been an Arace fan. He always seems to be quite negative and sarcastic when talking about the Jackets. Whether its "just how it is" or "the truth" he comes across as a jerk - plain and simple. I find his lack of faith disturbing. He asks this very important question though, "They can only get better, right?"
- To those of us who have been around since the start, an old, familiar face will honor us with his presence. Bruce Gardiner will be in town for the ceremonial puck drop, and also to sign autographs after the game. Bruce will be the first of many former players to visit Nationwide this season, to help celebrate the franchise's 10th season.
- A name listed on Chicago's "probable" lineup is very likely to be out tonight. The only way Patrick Kane will be on the ice tonight is if he flies into town on his own - if he's not being a sick little girl. Also things of note, Jared Boll will be out with back spasms, and R.J. Umberger should dress, continuing his ironman streak of 166 straight games.
- If you're going to the game, it would be best to find a lot or use the parking garage by the arena. The parking meters are no longer free after 6 p.m.
- Steve Mason is finally remembering how to forget. In his rookie season he was lights out, and was able to move on from the little mistakes and distractions. Last year was just the opposite, but you know that. Mase did a lot of maturing and put in a lot of hard work to turn it back around, and you can see it already.
- Another Blackhawk will be out tonight, serving a suspension. Niklas Hjalmarsson is serving the second of a two-game suspension after a nasty blindside hit on Sabres' Jason Pominville. The NHL is doing a pretty awful job disciplining players for their actions, but all that aside, Chicago meets Buffalo on Saturday, and Patrick Kaleta is calling for a heaping helping of revenge.
Around the league:
- Columbus' favorite French Canadian Pascal Leclaire has been fighting the injury bug his whole career. This year was supposed to be different for Pazzy, however, its the same old story. Leclaire leaves with a lower body injury, and you gotta think its that bum knee of his. Get well soon, Pazzy!
- Just a handful of games into the season, and Mike Modano made his return to Big D. It wasn't the return he was expecting, however. Detroit fell 4-1.
- Another player returned to his old stomping grounds last night. Simon Gagne, now with Tampa Bay, received first star honors (probably as one final thank you) as the Lightning beat the Flyers 3-2. Check out Flyer fans' reactions here.
- Conference standings through Thursday. Seeing Toronto and Tampa at the top of the East is so...weird. In the West, Vancouver, Chicago and Calgary in the bottom 7 is a bit unexpected, but hey, its still early.