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CannonFest 2011, TOMORROW

CannonFest 2011 is tomorrow at 2:00pm. I could not be more ready to get back to following my favorite sport and team in the world, free of tattoo scandals, wildly huge fan bases (with mentally handicapped owners, Cincinnati Bengals anyone?), and all the other drama seemingly spreading like an epidemic through the sports world.

Hockey has always been a great escape from the worries of my job and the real world since I first got into the sport, and for the last few months I have certainly been missing it.

Of course, it’s impossible to not be excited with this summer’s acquisitions of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski, and don’t get me wrong, I am really looking forward to seeing what they can do for the Blue Jackets. But watching the draft, trades, and free agency has still left a certain something missing.

The social aspect of being a hockey fan, and especially a Blue Jackets fan, is what makes this fun. Beyond the goals scored, the big hits, and lame fights (ahem, Jared Boll), the camaraderie makes this worth being a part of and sharing with those around you.

Kudos to the organizers of Cannonfest 2011 for what will surely be another great afternoon in the middle of August! Looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow at CannonFest.





The Jackets travel to Minnesota for their final tilt with the Wild of the 2010-11 season.

2:00pm EST, Xcel Energy Center

Fox Sports Ohio, High Definition

Well after Thursday’s listless loss to the Red Wings, and the awakening of spring, and the start of the NCAA Basketball tournament, I guess it’s okay if Blue Jackets fans start to let other distractions come before the CBJ.

The Jackets may not be mathematically eliminated yet, but for all intents and purposes, the season is officially over.

There were good moments, there were bad, but the Jackets were usually fun to watch, barring those pesky losing streaks where it seemed all hope was lost.

Here’s what I’m looking for in the remaining games:

NO major injuries

How well (or poorly) will upcoming UFA’s and RFA’s play? (Can you imagine how much money GM SH has saved by NOT resigning Jake Voracek last summer?”

How well will the young guys play on a team that has nothing to play for?

Get outside and enjoy the weather, but take a few minutes to check in on your favorite hockey team.

Go Jackets.



With the possibility of playoffs this spring all but eliminated, the Jackets can still put on a show for their fans and spoil the Red Wangs’ St. Patrick’s Day.

7:00pm EST, Nationwide Arena

Fox Sports Ohio, High Definition

With the recently improved, but not necessarily winning, play of the Jackets, one would have to believe they have a decent chance in tonight’s match-up.

The Wings are coming off or a win last night in Detroit over Washington. The Caps were winners of 9 straight, and now the Red Wings take over with a streak of their own, winning 3 straight.

The Jackets are somewhat known for getting thrashed around by legitimate cup contenders at this time of year. It’s hard to forget what happened against Detroit after the famous 8-2 CBJ win in Motown.

I want to take a second and apologize for the lack of posts in the past week. My teaching duties took over my life through last Friday, and that was immediately followed by a road trip to the CBJ-Carolina game, and then followed by the unfortunate and shocking death of my cat. Not to sound cliché, but it has been a rollercoaster of a week.

Now, get out there, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, and beat Detroit!

Go Jackets.



The road trip from hell was exactly that. Now the CBJ return to Nationwide for two desperately needed points.

7:00pm EST, Nationwide Arena

Fox Sports Ohio, Standard Definition

The Jackets are desperate. They may have already given up for all we know. But like the unabashed fan that I am, I’m still going to the game, still going to cheer loudly, and still going to have fun.

It is possible that Derick Brassard will make his (hopefully) triumphant return to the line-up tonight. I don’t expect it, especially against a team known for goonery like St. Louis. That is unless everyone around him has his back.

Not a surprise is the expected start of goaltender Mathieu Garon.

I don’t care if it’s a blowout or a shootout win, just find a way to win boys, make the drive well worth it.

Go Jackets.



It almost seems an eternity ago that the Blue Jackets were smashing the Blues in St. Louis to really get their winning ways going. Maybe there’s enough gas in the tank to make things interesting for the final 17 games…

9:00pm EST, Scottrade Center

Fox Sports Ohio, High Definition

Just prior to the All-Star Break the CBJ had lost 7 of their previous 8 games and were limping their way to another lottery draft pick. The dug deep to get 2 points (in OT) in Florida, and then waltzed into St. Louis and smashed the Blues 5-2 on a Saturday night.

The Blues and Jackets are both limping into this game, also losers of 4 straight games.

No word on a CBJ starting goalie, but the Blues are starting Ty Conklin in net tonight.

It’s a very deflating feeling, knowing the season is maybe days away from being over (only about 3 or 4 losses to give)… but as a fan this is when the team needs your support the most.

Go Jackets.



Wait, there was a game last night?

The Jackets lost to Edmonton?

Their playoff chances are next to nil?


9:00pm EST, Scotiabank Saddledome

Fox Sports Ohio, Standard Definition

Look people, we all said the season was over, multiple times, back in December and January, and frankly something had to give during this “feel-good” streak the Blue Jackets had put together.

Teams around them kept winning, and the Blue Jackets kept pace. Unfortunately the injuries and slumps didn’t hit the teams around the CBJ in the standings, it hit the Jackets directly on the forehead. The oft-injured Rusty Klesla, the disappointing season of Kristian Huselius, the streakiness of Antoine Vermette, the out-of-nowhere injury to Stralman (right as he picked up his play), and the most unfortunate of all, Derick Brassard’s hand/wrist injury. It shouldn’t have been the shock that it is that the Blue Jackets have all but officially slumped themselves out of it.

The odd thing? 13-5-1 still gives the Jackets a pretty fair chance at making it to the top 8…

I wouldn’t be surprised to see sweeping changes to the line-up and lines tonight, especially after this quote from Arniel last night:

So when asked about the play of goaltender Steve Mason, the Jackets coach lumped it into a whole bag of ugly.

“He was one of 20 guys (who) was awful tonight,” Arniel fumed.


I imagine it’s safe to bet that the only 3 guys he says showed up in his own mind were Umberger, Upshall, and either Dorsett or Garon. Kinda hard to disagree with him, too.

The Jackets still have time, but it is fleeting.

They must make the most of the energy of desperation tonight.

Go Jackets.



In Western Canada is where Columbus Blue Jackets Seasons go to die… or find a way to survive.

10:00pm EST, Rogers Arena

Fox Sports Ohio, High Definition

The 2010-2011 season hangs in the balance this week as the Jackets enter the always-tough 3-game swing through Western Canada. Vancouver has been a juggernaut so far this season in the NHL, earning a 39-15-9 (87 points) record, and first place in the Western Conference.

The Jackets meanwhile sit in 12th place and a record of 31-24-6 (68 points), 4 points out of tying for 8th place in the conference.

The big push has to start tonight as predicts a point cutoff of 96 for the 8th place team this season… or a record of 13-6-2 the rest of the season for the CBJ.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m kind of excited to have REASON to stay up late and watch our team fight and scrap for a playoff spot.

Not to mention, the newly acquired Blue Jackets will almost certainly make their debut tonight!

Exciting times.

Go Jackets.

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