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Cannon Blasts: Why you should go to Friday’s very important game vs. Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

We’ve got a full week coming up, with four games in six days, including three straight at home. The highlight of that run is the final leg of the homestand, against the hated Pittsburgh Penguins. In honor of the greatest late night host of all time, here is the Top Ten Reasons You Should Attend Friday’s Game Against the Penguins:

10. The opportunity to show appreciation to Jack Johnson for his 6.5 seasons in Columbus.

9. Watch Elvis Merzlikins get a home start! (lol jk)

8. Get an in-person look at the new-and-improved power play (see below).

7. Go from watching fights in the morning at your local big box store’s Black Friday sale to watching fights on the ice at Nationwide Arena.

6. We still have one of the best defensive-pairings, featuring the red hot (six game point streak, 3/5/8) Zach Werenski and team assist leader Seth Jones.

5. After a huge meal of turkey and sides, you’re going to want some pizza instead.

4. Instead of arguing about politics with your relatives, you can argue about what constitutes offsides or goalie interference with the people in your row.

3. Pierre-Luc Dubois. Zach Werenski. Emil Bemstrom. Alexandre Texier. Vladislav Gavrikov. The kids are alright.

2. StubHub has provided a special link * for readers of The Cannon. Go check it out to see which great seats are available (they’re all good seats).

1. Each seat occupied by a Columbus fan is one less occupied by a Pittsburgh fan. They’re obnoxious and gross and just generally unpleasant to have around you for a home game.

The week that was

Game #20: CBJ 5 MTL 2
Game #21: CBJ 5 DET 4
Game #22: WPG 4 CBJ 3

Holy offensive explosion, Batman!

The big news of the week was the Blue Jackets adding a new assistant coach behind the bench, former Jack Adams Award winner Paul MacLean. MacLean was added specifically to assist with special teams. In the two games since he joined the team, the Jackets have scored five power play goals in ten opportunities. Some improvement started before MacLean arrived, with the team riding an active four game streak with a PPG, and have scored at least one in six of the last seven games. The PP% now sits at 20.3 for the season, good for 12th in the league. I’m as shocked as you are.

Before things improved, the Cannon Cast took a look at what problems were ailing the team.

MrSwift13 is at his best, of course, when going on angry rants about the team. Obviously his power play article had an impact. So it should be appreciated when he has a positive take. He has profiled two young players who have found their game this month: Zach Werenski and Emil Bemstrom.

Rachel presented this week’s FanPulse results, asking which NHL head coach would be fired first.

Around the League

Turns out the FanPulse poll was wrong, as the first firing of the year was Toronto Maple Leaves head coach Mike Babcock. It’s no surprise that Pension Plan Puppets was all over this story, asking if it matters if players like the coach, and what must be done to fix the team.

Holy hell, Marc-Andre Fleury.

Let’s check in with a couple of former Blue Jackets, as Artemi Panarin is a lone bright spot in New York and Matt Duchene has been good in Nashville, but the Predators remain one forward away.

Play me out

Last night the Blue Jackets traveled to Manitoba, so today I’m going to highlight a band from the next province over, Saskatchewan. The Sheepdogs are like a Prairie Province Allman Brothers Band, featuring that throwback 1970s dual-lead guitar Southern rock sound.

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