By Mike Harrington
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- You'll hear it on TV tonight but it's not nearly the same as when you're in Nationwide Arena. Every time the Blue Jackets take the ice at the start of a game, every time they score a goal and every time they wrap up a win, a replica Civil War cannon is fired in one corner of the building.
The "Goal Cannon" has become such a part of the experience that it even has its own page on the team's Web site.
And it's loud. They have warning signs at every seat in the press box about a loud "concussion" when the cannon is fired. Doesn't matter. You still jump. Even Blue Jackets players do.
"It still scares you. I don't think you ever get used to it," said Sabres center Zenon Konopka, who played here parts of two seasons. "You're waiting for it but you never know when it's gonna pop."
"It's definitely loud," added defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, a regular visitor during his days in the Western Conference. "I hope we don't have to hear it."
There's a good chance the Sabres will. The Blue Jackets have scored 3+ goals for eight straight games, tying the team record set in 2006. They rank third in the NHL in goals per game in January (3.7) and tied for sixth for the season (2.88).
Here's a look at the cannon in action:
taggedColumbus Blue Jackets | Sabres game day