Minnesota Wild Swept by Columbus Blue Jackets


1. 98. 3. 113. Final

A stellar effort by Devan Dubnyk was wasted by poor special teams play and a sub par defensive effort by the Minnesota Wild. Zach Parise had the lone tally for the Wild. 

Good morning, Minnesota Wild fans. I want to blame the fact that we never beat the Blue Jackets. I want to blame bad puck luck, because there was certainly some of that. The fact of the matter is the Wild lost because they played a poor game. The Wild outshot and outchanced the Blue Jackets for 60 minutes, but they still lost. The Wild’s quest for 23 more wins now has to wait until Tuesday, when they take on the red-hot Red Wings in Detroit. Don’t forget to check out Derek’s coverage on the Valiquette number and Ben’s 3-stars of the week for more on the Minnesota Wild.

First Period:

The Wild had a serious problem with Columbus’ neutral zone trap starting at the drop of the puck. Though they had a few good chances early, every shot came from near the blue line and the Blue Jackets instantly cleared the zone.

Ryan Suter had the game’s first shot on goal after a fantastic keep at the blue line.

Matt Cooke, Kyle Brodziak, and Justin Fontaine made up the 4th line and provided the Wild’s only jolt of energy in the opening frame. Even Parise, who always plays with a ton of heart and tenacity, had trouble gaining the zone and holding it.

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Brandon Dubinsky put the Blue Jackets on the board first. Dubinsky motored in to the offensive zone flanked by Suter and Jonas Brodin who did nothing to stop him. Uncovered, Dubninsky fired a lightning fast shot that cruised over Dubnyk’s blocker. 1-0 Columbus at 07:57 of the first period. It’s hard for me to blame Dubnyk on this one since Dubinsky had free ice and an unabated view of the net.

Fontaine had the tying goal, beating Sergei Bobrovsky, but he hit the post. After stanchions, the Wild’s worst enemy is the goalpost.

The Wild nearly got on the board as Bobrovsky bobbled a dump in attempt and had to scurry back in to the crease.

Nino Niederreiter

(more on him later) drew a penalty that sent the Wild to its first power play. 21 seconds later, Parise converted. After managing to hold the zone for a bit,

Mikko Koivu

fired a slap shot from the high slot that made a bee-line for Bobrovsky’s trapper. Parise deflected the puck down and through Bobrovsky’s 5-hole to make it a

1-1 tie at 18:43 of the first period.

Jason Pominville

earned the second assist. The best part about this goal is the fact that there was actual net-front presence, something the Wild hasn’t been good at.

Shots after one period: Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Minnesota Wild 5

Second Period:

Just 37 seconds in, Scott Hartnell got his time in the sin-bin for high sticking Cooke. The Wild had 3 shots on goal during the power play, but the top unit did a really great job of staying in the zone and pressuring the Blue Jackets even after the power play.

The Wild had two clear breakaway chances midway through the second. First, Parise got tied up by

David Savard

by the net and was awarded a penalty shot. Parise started off slowly down the slot, dropped a shoulder and tried to go wide,but lost control of the puck as he tried to stuff the puck under Bob’s leg pad. You can have a look in the video below.

Next, Jason Zucker split two defenders and had a clear chance at the net, but he couldn’t beat Bobrovsky to the puck.

Erik Haula gave the Blue Jackets its first chance with the man advantage by high-sticking Hartnell. The Wild killed the penalty off, although they did allow a 3-on-2 by trying to change before clearing the zone.

Dubnyk finally solved the stanchion conundrum for the Wild, collecting a carom of the glass in his trapper to freeze play. During the TV timeout, Dubnyk gave an exaggerated shrug that drew approving roars from the crowd.

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  • Suter looked to score around the 15 minute mark, putting home a Marco Scandella rebound. The red light went on, but the Wild’s celebration looked muted and the officiating crew instantly huddled. On the replay, we could see a kicking motion from Suter after Jason Zucker took a stick to the face in the background, falling to the ice in a heap. The referees stated Bobrovsky touched the puck on its way in to the net and the Wild were on a delayed penalty. Because a Blue Jackets player touched the puck, the play was whistled dead before the puck crossed the goal line. The Wild was awarded a 4-minute power play thanks to Savard high sticking Zucker. They responded with one shot on goal. Granted, it was an awesome shot by Niederreiter that Bobrovsky barely saved with a cart-wheel style kick Next time, just give us the goal.

    Arguably, that power play and disallowed goal was the turning point. The Wild maintained great zone pressure up to that point and suddenly lost all the wind in their sails.

    Shots after two periods: Columbus Blue Jackets 14, Minnesota Wild 17

    Third Period:

    The Wild opened the third period with a terrific shift in the offensive zone, led by the 4th line. Unfortunately, Haula went back to the sin bin in the 5th minute and James Wisniewski scored the eventual game winner only 10 seconds in.

    With Suter out of position, Wisniewski snagged a pass from Nick Foligno and fired a one timer from the base of the right face-off dot. 2-1 Blue Jackets at 05:35 of the second period.

    Niederreiter had a fabulous look at the net on his next shift but chose to pass instead. His pass never made it to Charlie Coyle. Niederreiter’s biggest flaw has been his seeming unwillingness to play as a teammate, but part of being a teammate is shooting when you have a good opportunity.

    Later, Niederreiter hit the post. Seriously, the Wild can’t buy a goal sometimes. Niederreiter is in a bit of a slump and the Wild need him to snap out of it.

    Towards the 15 minute mark, Parise fired a shot from the left-wing wall that beat Bobrovsky but stopped short in the blue paint. Pominville made it to the puck, but went down in heap in his attempt to bury the rebound and tie the game.

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  • Wisniewski struck again just as the Wild looked to close in on the equalizer. The Columbus defenseman fired a blast on goal that Hartnell redirected past Dubnyk to make it 3-1 Blue Jackets at 16:57 of the 3rd period.

    Dubnyk came off with 2:11 remaining in the 3rd period. Though the Wild had some really good chances, they collapsed every single time the Blue Jackets pushed the puck past the blue line. There was zero forecheck and zero effort to hold the zone. Game over, Blue Jackets win 3-1 in regulation, snap the Wild’s 2-game winning streak, and sweep the season series.

    Final shots on goal: Columbus Blue Jackets 23, Minnesota Wild 26.

    Trembley’s Take:

    Frustrating loss tonight. Dubnyk played a stellar game, though it doesn’t show on the stat sheet. He had a 0.870 save percentage, which tells very little of the story tonight.

    The 4th line can’t be the only one providing energy. Yeo has a good system, it just needs to be implemented by ALL 12 forwards. On that note, Watching Haula skate next to Thomas Vanek is like watching an ox cart trying to beat greyhounds. Vanek had ZERO hustle tonight.

    Ryan Suter logged just over 30 minutes of ice time. No other defenseman had more than 21 minutes. Suter was a well-earned -2, though he did have 4 hits and a takeaway. Christian Folin and Mathew Dumba played really well and the Wild had the chance to comfortably roll 3 defensive pairings. They didn’t. Suter also led all skaters with 4:41 of power play time. Scandella, who has quietly become the best two-way defensemen on the Minnesota Wild, had no power play time.

    Niederreiter was my star of the game tonight. He had a corsi for of 64% in just over 13 minutes of ice time. He’s due for a goal soon.

    The Wild heads to Detroit to take on the Red Wings tonight at 6:30. Talk to you then!