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Cannon Blasts: another CBJ prospect check-in

That and more of this week’s links

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Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

We’re back from a much-needed Thanksgiving break. I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday. Did you stick with the traditional staples of the meal, or did you use the unusual circumstances to try something different? My parents stuck with the old stand-bys but cut a few sides (sweet potato and corn casseroles, my two favorites). I contributed by baking a pumpkin pie from scratch for the first time. It came out well!

In case you missed it, last week the whole staff wrote about what we’re thankful for.

Also worth checking out is my interview with Max Domi. The full interview is available on the Cannon Cast wherever you listen to podcasts, but if that’s not your thing I included a transcript of the highlights here.

What are the European players up to?

I recommend this Aaron Portzline article over at The Athletic. Alexandre Texier switched from a Finnish team to a French team to be close to his ailing grandmother. Then France went into a strict lockdown so hockey activities have been shut down. Jake Christiansen — a new signee out of the WHL — was going to play for a team in Slovakia but they experienced a COVID outbreak right as he arrived, so he chose to return to Canada instead.

The third player profiled is Emil Bemstrom, who is putting the lessons of his rookie season to good use as he excels in Finland. He has been a point per game player, with eight goals and nine assists in 16 games.

First round draft pick Yegor Chinakhov is currently the leading scorer among KHL players under 20, including Toronto’s first round pick Rodion Amirov. He has 15 through 27 games (8G, 7A).

Kirill Marchenko was temporarily sidelined as COVID ravaged his team, but he is back on track with 16 points (8G, 8A) through 23 games. He scored this shootout gem over the weekend:

The goalie there? Fellow CBJ prospect Daniil Tarasov. Still, despite only five starts at the KHL level, he has a 3-1-1 record, 2.29 goals against average, and .920 save percentage. This is actually an improvement over this numbers this season at the lower level VHL (2.16 and .909 with an identical 3-1-1 in five starts).

Fourth round pick Mikael Pyyhtia earned a call up to his club’s Liiga team after scoring 19 points (9G, 10A) in his first 16 games.

Ohio Sports Update

It was first reported by Frank Servalli of TSN that a “significant number” of Blue Jackets had tested positive for COVID. These players had been working out together at Nationwide. The identities of the players have not been revealed.

Ohio State football had to cancel their game at Illinois on Saturday due to positive COVID tests for Ryan Day and some players.

Everything is fine. Nothing to see here.

The Columbus Crew also had multiple positive tests, which could have jeopardized their playoff game yesterday. Thankfully it was able to be played and they scored twice in extra time to defeat Nashville. They’ll host New England on Sunday afternoon in the Eastern Conference Final. Check out these beautiful goals, both featuring Gyasi Zardes:

Play me out

On Thanksgiving in 1976, The Band played their final concert. Martin Scorsese filmed it and the result is his seminal concert film The Last Waltz. I’ve seen clips over the years, but never made the time to watch the whole thing until now. The guest appearances are great, of course (featuring the likes of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison (this version of “Caravan” is a classic), Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and more) but somehow I slept on how good The Band’s original songs were and how tight they were as a live act after 16 years on the road together.