COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It gets you every time.
Come to Nationwide Arena for a Columbus Blue Jackets game and you have to be prepared for the Columbus cannon.
When the Jackets take the ice before the game or when they score a goal … BOOM. The building shakes. Ear drums ache.
"You laugh about it at the pregame skate and you laugh about it before the game, then you go out in the first period and it seems like it always gets you," Canes forward Pat Dwyer said.
Dwyer said his best memory is of Canes trainer Pete Friesen walking toward the bench just as the cannon went off.
"He went down to one knee," Dwyer said, smiling. "It was quite comical."
There's nothing like it in the NHL. Every arena has its share of noise, but nothing like the cannon.
The "Blue Jackets Goal Cannon," as it's called, made its debut on opening night 2007. It's a hand-crafted 12-pounder 1857 Napoleon cannon that was built in 2005 and according to the Jackets was fired 120 times before being shipped to Nationwide Arena.
Canes defenseman Justin Faulk said he did not dress for an exhibition game this fall at Nationwide but was in the press box and idly talking to a teammate when … BOOM. He said it startled him so bad he … well, enough said on that.
"I do not like it," he said, laughing. "Hopefully I won't have to hear it a lot."
That's the objective for the Canes in Tuesday's game against the Blue Jackets: no cannon shots. There's not much they can do about the pregame shot, but a lot they can do once the puck drops.
"It would be beautiful not to hear it," Canes coach Bill Peters said. "That would be great."