1. Why is Vince Vaughn such a big Chicago fan? Because he is from Chicago. Although he was born in Minneapolis, he grew up in Chicago (Buffalo Grove) and graduated from Lake Forest HS. Lake Forest is where the “Home Alone” movies were made. Vaughn can be seen at Bears games, too.
2. Who is worse, the Versus announcers or the local FSN guys, Rimer and Davidge? Joe Beninati and Jeff Rimer both worked for the Washington Capitals, although Beninati is still there when not doing Versus games. But I’ll take Rimer any day over Beninati simply because Jeff does not sound like he is doing a car commercial when he calls games. Now Darren Eliot, who did the color for last night’s game, is a former NHL goalie and gets my vote over Bill Davidge. He does work for the Thrashers when not doing Versus and writes for SI.com. Although both men have similar voices. Eliot gets my vote simply because he doesn’t repeat things over and over. No question about it!
3. How long will Rusty Klesla be out? I’m afraid a lot longer than six weeks. Groin injuries are one of the worst for hockey players and I suppose you could say a groin tear would be catastrophic. The simple act of pushing off in the skating stride can’t be done without a healthy and strong groin.
4. Does Kris Russell get down on himself all the time when he makes an error? Of course he does, because Hitchcock makes damn sure of it. But after the last two games, the leash that he keeps Russell on might get longer.
5. Is Steve Mason back? He might be. The signs are there, but if the team doesn’t play better in front of him, he could get lost again.
6. Will the crowds at Nationwide ever come back? Well, the Maple Leafs are here on Thursday, so that should mean a bigger crowd, although they won’t be cheering for the local boys. Membership in the Adam Foote Haters Club has dropped some over last year because the guy usually weasels out of Columbus games, so I wouldn’t count on a big crowd for Saturday. Maybe Tiger Woods will make an appearance as part of his rehab tour. I can’t wait to see him at Muirfield next June.
7. Any stats we fans should be watching? Yes; the Jackets have won all games this season when they have outscored the opposition after three periods. Also, the Jackets have won more games at Nationwide than any other NHL team.