Shrapnel - 11/14/11
Looking at going to "PracFest" today? The Jackets will be on the main ice at Nationwide at 10:30 this morning.
There's a lot of "interesting times" around the Minnesota Wild, who the Jackets will face tomorrow, despite their 3-2 win over Anaheim last night putting them on top of the NW division. Head coach Mike Yeo was highly critical of the team's effort on their California road trip, Ms. Conduct at Backhand Shelf offered some motivational tips, and the team losing veteran D-man Marco Scandella to a concussion.
If you guessed that they're probably going to be rather motivated on Tuesday, I think you guessed right.
Today is also the start of all-star voting, and while the Jackets do have a few candidates on the ballot (and you can certainly write in Vinny Prospal or Ryan Johansen), you might also consider Project Mayhem.
Keys to the Jackets win on Saturday may or may not have included horse cavalry.
Rough news also surrounds the Buffalo Sabres, who take on Montreal tonight. Ryan Miller will be out indefinitely with a concussion after being freight-trained by Milan Lucic. (Lucic will have a hearing with Brendan Shanahan this afternoon about the hit), and when the Buffalo media wanted to talk to head coach Lindy Ruff after a team meeting on Sunday Morning, he was rather bluntly not interested.
In case you missed Aaron Portzline mentioning it on Twitter yesterday, Ryan Johansen is the first NHL player since 1982 to have the game winning goal in all three of his team's wins. (The last one was Brian Propp, for the Flyers, and the last rookie to do it was Don Murdoch with the Rangers in 1976). The record for GWGs in a rookie season currently sits at 9. Stranger things have happened.
Speaking of the Johan, The Hockey Writers' Alex Stallings has a nice profile on the rookie forward, and his journey from a bantam draft to the NHL.
It appears Ian White will continue the theme of "Maybe you shouldn't have put your face in front of the puck" that we've seen this season, and will miss 1-2 weeks with a fractured cheekbone. Unintentional comedy moment? Mike Commodore is likely to replace White in the lineup against Ken Hitchcock and the Blues on Tuesday.
At Puck-Rakers, Aaron Portzline talks about surrounding Steve Mason with better defensive play. Jeff Little sees progress at TMM, but he isn't popping any wine corks yet.
Over at Puck Daddy, they featured the first half of the Battle of the Blades finale, wondering what history will remember about the 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame class, who will be inducted tonight in Toronto. They also spotlighted a real highlight from the Boston / Buffalo game that was lost in the post-game sniping and video of Falcons captain Dane Byers going a little crazy on Saturday night.
A few last noteworthy mentions: Jackets prospect T.J. Tynan is now the NCAA scoring leader, it's Last Call for the music city bus trip, expect to see Nikitin getting quite a lot of ice time, and Gallos talks about the right stuff over at DBJ.