Shrapnel - 11/2/11
Good morning! It's...Wednesday. Sorry, I've got nothing. Nothing except a ton of things to share with you.
The biggest news to come out yesterday around the Jackets was that Ryan Johansen will stay with the team past the 9 game tryout period, making this his official rookie season. Here's reactions from the Dispatch, a few more tidbits at puck-rakers, DBJ discussing the intertwined factors of the decision and looking at his own personal wayback machine, The Hockey Writers, the Jackets Journal, and Jeff Little considering the move while discussing how much he dislikes the language coming around it from the team.
Over at the main SBNation page, Travis talks about the history of NHL realignments - and that history suggests a revamp is a few years overdue. Puck Daddy, though, wonders if an alliance of the Pennsylvania teams could block the currently proposed revamp?
Another subject coming up outside of the city is the Jackets' ownership and their treatment of Scott Arniel and Scott Howson.
TSN's Insider Trading (warning: Video) segment last night briefly mentioned the situation, with a strong implication that it is the ownership creating the pressure from up top - and that Sunday's win was a reprieve, but not yet a full pardon. Sportsnet's Mark Spector puts the team's problems on the shoulders of club president Mike Priest, with McConnell as the enabler, and Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press, quite familiar with Scott Arniel, argues that the ownership could unfairly cost him his job.
At this point, I'd say it's fair criticism, particularly if the team should eventually replace Arniel with Hitch. To constantly parade a possible replacement in front of the current coach is rather unkind, and implies something of a toxic work environment. If Hitch is simply acting as an advisor to Priest, and the rumors are false, perhaps the best thing he (and Mike Priest) could do is let Hitch go up to work with Rob Riley in Springfield for a few weeks, as was discussed before the start of the season. Let the fresh air in, kill some of the rumors, and then let everyone get back to work in a better frame of mind.
The NHL has announced that Andy Sutton will be suspended for five games after his hit on Gabriel Landeskog. Good decision? Mostly, but I also look at the comparison from Down Goes Shelley and still don't understand why Wiz got an additional three games (plus several pre-season games), while Sutton, an equally well known repeat offender, took a lesser punishment. Was it the equivalent of 2 minutes for being a Blue Jacket, or was Shanahan escalating the punishment because Wiz chose to take a phone hearing rather than travel to New York in person?
Don't look now, but the defense is starting to get healthy, and the Dexshow is taking more practices.
A little controversy with your eggs: Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau benched Alex Ovechkin in the final minutes as the Capitals looked for a tying goal, and kept him there through most of the OT, though "The Great 8" would eventually hit the ice and set up the game winner. Ovechkin was not pleased. Was this a case of motivating an underperforming star, or signs of a larger problem...? If the team keeps winning, does it matter if Ovechkin is happy? Somethng to keep an eye on.
A new victory trophy joins the ranks of the Bruins' jacket, the Rangers' chapeau, and the old Claude Noel hard hat: The Springfield Falcons' Stetson.
Crime Spree Hockey focuses on some of the more blue collar NHL captains.
The Lorenzi line takes a look at the chance the Jackets could leapfrog the Bruins in overall standings, while the Jackets will have special warm up jerseys on Thursday, November 10th for Military Appreciation Night.
The official report on the Lokomotiv crash finds pilot error as the major cause, as the pilot accidentally activated the brakes during takeove and then tried to overcorrect by elevating the jet too quickly.
A look at the rest of the leauge: Guy Boucher is displeased with his team, Bourne breaks down a lack of Defensive communication contributing to a goal, Torts fires back at Joe Thornton's postgame criticism, Shootout artist Linus Omark was sent to the AHL, Matt Cooke was on his best behavior last month, BHS has a few more ugly jerseys and awesome mask videos, Sean Avery is back in New York and it's still silly to judge a team after 10 games.
On paper, it should be a pretty quiet day for the Jackets, but you never know. Check back with us and we'll keep you up to speed!