The Fuse: All Set for the Cup Final, Predators Tickets are Pricey, and a Sneaky-Important Signing for the Blue Jackets

By Rob Mixer on May 26, 2017 at 5:30 am
Nashville Predators fans

Around these parts, we’ll do our best to give you everything you need to know about the Columbus Blue Jackets. We’ll also fill you in on the stories you may not have heard about (or those you didn’t think you need to know about), the social media buzz around the league, along with a few random nuggets for good measure.

Think of it as your morning coffee with a shot of hockey talk.

 THE MATCHUP IS SET: Well, well, well.

You can't ask for much more than we got in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Pittsburgh Penguins advanced - for the second straight season - but their path to this final went through a gutty, stingy Ottawa Senators team that gave the defending champions everything they could handle. For all the talk about the Senators' "boring" style of play and their clogging neutral zone system, there was no shortage of drama in Game 7 as it stretched beyond regulation into overtime.

And then, a second overtime.

It was 37-year-old Chris Kunitz (his second goal of the game), from Sidney Crosby, on a fluttering dove that sailed past Craig Anderson. What a weird goal to end a terrific series:

The Penguins will face the Nashville Predators beginning with Game 1 on Monday night at PPG Paints Arena. Nashville eliminated Anaheim in six games earlier this week and is playing in its first-ever Stanley Cup Final; the Penguins are first back-to-back Stanley Cup finalists since they did it themselves in 2008 and 2009.

Another historical note: this will be the first Stanley Cup Final coached by two Americans, Peter Laviolette (Nashville) and Mike Sullivan (Pittsburgh).

What do you think, Brandon Dubinsky?

 PAY UP, SMASHVILLE: Don't be surprised, but tickets in Music City are hard to come by for the upcoming Stanley Cup Final. Predators fans have (rightfully) lost their mind during this playoff run and they've got everyone in that wonderful town all riled up for the potential of the franchise's first-ever championship.

So if you want to head over to Bridgestone Arena and watch, well, open your wallet.

Tickets were reportedly going for $1,500 each (and higher on the resale market) over the last couple of days and there are only a couple hundred available for the public on-sale later this week.

ADDING DEPTH: The Blue Jackets were reportedly among the teams interested in standout USHL goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks earlier this month. On Thursday, they announced a three-year entry level contract with the big Latvian netminder, who will make the jump to pro hockey and forego a commitment to Minnesota State University in the fall.

What this means is the Blue Jackets have even more depth at a key position; there's a chance they lose either Joonas Korpisalo or Anton Forsberg to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, and they won't have Elvis Merzlikins coming over from HC Lugano for at least another season. They need to develop their own players and goaltenders are no exception, so getting a jump on one of the top prospects is an encouraging sign.

 ICYMI: The 1st Ohio Battery roundtable is back, and our staff is talking about the Blue Jackets' offseason objectives and how the roster could be modified ... With the NHL switching uniform providers and working with adidas beginning this season, the Blue Jackets are reportedly among the teams getting an updated look to their sweaters ... Alexander Wennberg takes home a 1OB Award, selected as the club's most improved player of the season.


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