Wild checks out in second period

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 30, 2011 - 5:55 AM

The Wild's ghastly second periods under former coach Todd Richards were renowned, but Thursday's middle frame was poor even by last year's standards.


The Blue Jackets’ Fedor Tyutin (51) tried to keep the Wild’s Nick Johnson from the puck during the first period in Columbus.

Photo: Terry Gilliam, AP

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Wild's old coach might have been on the Columbus Blues Jackets' bench as an assistant, but the Wild's new coach got to see the same hideous sight Todd Richards saw during much of his tenure in Minnesota: The patented second-period slumber.

The Wild's ghastly second periods under Richards were renowned, but Thursday's middle frame was poor even by last year's standards.

After a dominant first period, it looked as if the Wild spent the intermission eating cookies and chocolate milk en route to a 4-2 loss at Nationwide Arena.

A first-period Minnesota lead belonged to Columbus by the 2:38 mark of the second. A 16-7 shot advantage became a 22-19 shot deficit by the 20:00 mark. And a 5-for-25 (lack of) success rate in the faceoff circle meant the Wild spent 20 minutes chasing the puck.

"That was disappointing, and it's my fault," coach Mike Yeo said. "I went in and said how well we played in the first period. So, ... [I'll] learn from that."

The Wild spent the second defending, thanks to neutral-zone breakdown after breakdown. Since starting the preseason 3-0, the Wild's fallen to 3-3 because of persistent turnovers, which have led to sustained defending instead of attacking.

That was the case again Thursday as Columbus' three big stars -- Fedor Tyutin, Rick Nash and Jeff Carter -- gave the Jackets a 3-1 lead heading into the third.

"We weren't ready to battle the right way in the second period, and when you don't battle the right way, then mentally you're not going to be there," Yeo said.

"We're building more than just our game right now. We're building that winning attitude that every play, every period, every shift can be the difference in the game."

Yeo knew the Wild wouldn't master his system and style "overnight" but saw progress in the first.

"But still, we've got to make quicker progress," he said.

The Wild, which plays host to Edmonton in the preseason finale Friday, has eight days until the opener.

"We just kind of get away from things we absolutely have to do to be successful -- and not only getting away from it a little bit, but just not doing it altogether," winger Cal Clutterbuck said. "With the eight days we have to hammer these things out, I can guarantee you that we're going to be a lot better."

Pittsburgh addition

With Matt Cullen and Cody Almond hurt, Brad Staubitz suspended and the Wild looking to create more competition for spots at forward, Nick Johnson was claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh.

"The guy has potential to be a third-line winger in the NHL," GM Chuck Fletcher said. "He's strong on the wall, he protects the puck well, he has some skill and thinks the game pretty well."

The 6-2, 205-pound former Dartmouth player, who's played 10 NHL games, scored 20 goals last season for Wilkes-Barre a year after scoring a career-high 43 points.

Johnson, who knows the Wild's system because the same one is used by the Penguins, won't have long to impress. Opening night rosters must be submitted by Wednesday.

His arrival could affect Casey Wellman and Brett Bulmer, who are vying for spots. Wellman, who missed the first week of camp because of a back injury, was scratched for Johnson after two inconspicuous exhibition games.

Wellman doesn't require waivers to get to Houston, while Johnson would. Bulmer would have to return to his Western Hockey League team, Kelowna, if he doesn't make the Wild.

Johnson took a car service from Pittsburgh and arrived two hours before gametime. He was minus-2 in 11:41 of work.

"It was definitely a little strange walking in with my suit and everyone's kind of playing soccer," Johnson said, laughing. "Everyone's like, 'Hey.' I'm like, 'Hey.'"

Rude fans

It was Clutterbuck who took an elbow to the face from James Wisniewski last Friday, causing the Columbus defenseman to get suspended the first eight games of the season. Yet, Blue Jackets fans greeted Clutterbuck with boos during all his early shifts.

"I'm not sure what I did, ... but it was kind of funny though," he said. ...

Cullen (neck) and Jared Spurgeon (rib) missed their second straight preseason games. ...

Defenseman Jordan Hendry, released from his tryout with the Wild on Sunday, has signed an American Hockey League tryout with the Houston Aeros.


    Up next: 7 p.m. Friday vs. Edmonton • Xcel Energy Center • No TV (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question