BOSTON (CBS) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have a tradition. A loud one. It’s a tradition the Boston Bruins hope to silence over the next few days.
With Boston’s second-round showdown with the Blue Jackets shifting to Columbus for Games 3 and 4, the Bruins are bracing themselves for a really loud noise. Granted, that’s not uncommon when a team enters a hostile territory. But Columbus’ loud noise is pretty unique.
They have a cannon in Nationwide Arena, and though they don’t technically fire off the bad boy, it delivers a loud boom that echoes throughout the stadium. And if they’re not ready for the loud boom, even hockey players — the toughest guys on earth — are prone to getting a little startled on the ice.
Since 2007, the Blue Jackets have been “firing” the cannon to celebrate goals. Most visiting players are aware of the loud blast that’s coming, and with AC/DC’s For Those About To Rock giving the cannon its cue to boom, it’s easy to figure out when they have to brace for the blast.
It’s the pregame cannon boom that usually catches opposing players off guard. Just ask Bruins forward David Pastrnak.
“I remember Claude [Julien] back in the day. He said, ‘Watch out,'” Pastrnak said of his first experience with the cannon. “But I didn’t know what that meant, and then I heard it.”
There’s nothing the Bruins can do about the boom before the puck drops. But once play starts, they’d like to keep the Jackets off the board, and the cannon on standby.
“I hope I don’t hear it, obviously,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said following Monday’s practice in Brighton. “After that, to be honest with you, I don’t really notice it. When they score, it’s loud and I’m pissed off. And that’s the routine.”
B’s defenseman Brandon Carlo made his NHL debut at Nationwide Arena in 2016, a 6-3 Boston victory. But that meant he had to hear that darn cannon fire off a celebration blast three times in his first professional game.
“I don’t want to hear that thing once,” Carlo said Monday.
Giving up goals hasn’t been Boston’s problem this postseason. Tuukka Rask has surrendered just five goals to Columbus in their seven-plus periods of play over the first two games, and just 10 goals overall going back to Game 5 against the Leafs.
The Bruins and Blue Jackets are tied at a game apiece in their best-of-seven series, with the puck dropping for Tuesday’s Game 3 at 7 p.m. The Bruins are guaranteed to hear the cannon before the puck drops; we’ll see how much they can keep it from booming after that.