Welcome to Shrapnel, where we promise that the only guys wearing goalie masks are the ones trying to stop pucks.
(Though let's face it - if a goalie snapped some day and became an axe murderer, would you be entirely surprised?)
With the Canucks and Sharks taking down the Preds and Wings, the Central Division is officially out of the playoffs, and we're set for an East Coast / West Coast Stanley Cup finals, regardless of who advances from each conference.
Interestingly, it will also be a battle of a previous cup winner in the East vs. a team that has never won in the West, which I personally think is pretty nifty.
In Jackets news, much has been discussed about the arena issue. including discussions about casino tax revenues as a possible solution, and the team announcing some serious losses for this past season.
Dan gave us an update on how Ryan Johansen and the Winterhawks are doing in the WHL finals, but unfortunately the Kootenay Ice have grabbed another OT win, pushing Portland's back against the wall down 3-1 in the series.
In matters of the Falcons, Lou had a good look at the possibility of the Falcons playing an AHL game here at Nationwide, or for the Jackets playing a pre-season match in Springfield. He also had a honest and interesting conversation with Mike Commodore about the past season - it's some very interesting perspective, and worth taking a look if you haven't.
Meanwhile, as we prepare for the draft, our prospect profiles roll on, giving you a good look at the talent who could potentially be available at #8, should the Jackets draft rather than trade the pick.
Around the Jackets' blogosphere, Alison over at Heart of a Jacket talks about the divide between OSU and Blue Jacket fans, and why it doesn't need to be so.
At DBJ, while Tom struggles to slog through his final quarter at OU (Go Tom! Good luck!), Gallos has stepped up to ask if people in Columbus want hockey, or just a winner, and also took a moment to add his own reflections on Ryan Johansen.
Remember that we mentioned that Jared Boll would be taking part in the first annual Make CF History charity hockey tournament, and we said he wouldn't be planning to drop the gloves? Now that Derek Dorsett has joined in the act, let's raise that chance to, say...20%? At least for someone's photo ops. :)
And speaking of the team's fourth line, take a look at this great profile of Derek MacKenzie from his hometown paper, the Sudbury Star.
Per Puck Rakers, the Jackets have hired a new director of Game Operations - Derek Dawley, previously of the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators, will now be the man in the booth. I'm interested in how this goes - adding a more "Canadian" flavor to the in-arena entertainment might be an interesting twist, particularly if he borrows ideas from his former employers and tweaks them to have a more Central Ohio feel.
Last but not least before we move on to the NHL, did you know we're setting up a Facebook Page for The Cannon? But we can't really start adding fun toys to it until more people "Like" us! Please stop by and show us some love so we can add new, sparkly toys!
Speaking of that wider NHL, aside from the playoffs, there were two "big" stories this week.
First, now that the City of Glendale has agreed to finance more losses for the Coyotes, the Atlanta Thrashers appear to be a real possibility for relocation - and the NHL's comments aren't exactly encouraging if you're a fan of hockey in the ATL.
Second, though it has yet to be officially confirmed, it appears that the next Winter Classic will be the Rangers and Flyers, to be played at Citizen's Bank Park. Am I the only one disappointed that we aren't going back to feature Western Conference teams? Or a bit annoyed that this will be Philly's second appearance in three years?
New York was due - I get that. They're an original six franchise and I'm sure the TV ratings will be through the roof because of the Ranger fans tuning in, but I can't help but think that the Rangers and, say, Kings at Citi Field wouldn't have worked just as well.
Oh, and speaking of those Kings, it looks like Icethetics has a good look at their new road uniforms for next season...
Thanks for dropping in to see us here at The Cannon, and have a great weekend!
(Oh, and for those local to Columbus? This is Jeni's new Golden Ale and Apricot flavor. It'll be available in all the shops by 11. I'm just saying...)