Last-place Blue Jackets throttle Wild

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 8, 2012 - 7:26 AM

Coach Mike Yeo: 'There was too much complacency in our game.'

view larger photos

  

COLUMBUS, OHIO - If you want to make people believe you're a playoff contender rather than a pretender, you can't lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets are dead last in the NHL by 11 points! Yet the Wild, after five good games in a row, took a step back Tuesday night when it got outworked and outclassed during a 3-1 loss at Nationwide Arena.

Only Niklas Backstrom's 34 saves kept the score from being totally one-sided.

"We have to understand that we're playing playoff hockey right now," coach Mike Yeo said. "And I don't think we played that game like that. You play playoff hockey, you play like every play is the difference. There was too much complacency in our game. We need desperation every shift by every guy."

Since Dec. 13, the Wild and Blue Jackets are the two worst teams in the NHL. The Wild is 5-13-5 (15 out of a possible 46 points); the Blue Jackets 7-15-2 (16 out of a possible 48).

But the Wild had revived its game since the All-Star break, going 3-1-1 by getting pucks deep and executing structured forechecks. Against the Blue Jackets, the Wild did none of that, so it never tired out Columbus, which continually came with speed.

"We didn't get to the level we were at the last five games," Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck said.

Added Backstrom, "You think you're going in the right direction, and then I don't know the reason we take one step back."

And, of course, it wouldn't be a Wild loss without the power play laying one giant egg.

David Savard gave Columbus a 1-0 lead on his first NHL goal. Nate Prosser, one day after signing his first one-way contract and 11 minutes after getting into his first NHL fight, answered with his first NHL goal.

In the second period, the Wild showed flashes until Devin Setoguchi drew a high-sticking penalty.

The nerve of him, because power plays can't be declined. It's one thing when your power play doesn't score over and over and over again.

It's another when it consistently -- like every single game -- ruins momentum. It has reached the point where maybe teams pre-scout the Wild that way: If the Wild's dominating 5-on-5, take a penalty, watch the Wild trip all over itself on the power play and you're back in business.

"Nothing. Nothing there," Yeo said of an unsightly power play that he says must outwork penalty kills because of a lack of skill without Mikko Koivu, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse.

The Blue Jackets' 30th-ranked penalty kill easily doused the Wild. Moments later, Nick Schultz took one of his four penalties, and the league's 25th-ranked power play scored the go-ahead goal in seconds (Antoine Vermette).

"Just in the box too much," Schultz said.

In the third period, no rally would occur after the Wild's third line, most notably Setoguchi, got caught chasing. Savard threw a puck on net, Justin Falk and Prosser couldn't clear Colton Gillies and Jeff Carter, and Carter scored to make it 3-1.

"It's a game of 1-on-1 battles, and they got the better of us by a large margin in that department," Yeo said.

The loss ended a stretch of 20 of 29 games on the road for the Wild, which went 7-10-3 in those 20. In the past three, Minnesota went 1-1-1 with three goals scored. The Wild now returns home, where it will play seven of its next 10 and 18 of its final 29.

Yeo said the Wild can't just "settle on that fact, because nobody's going to give us anything. They don't care. We need to make it really hard on teams."

Added Clutterbuck, "It wasn't good enough tonight. There's only one way to respond to it."

  • COLUMBUS 3, WILD 1 Up next: 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Vancouver • Xcel Energy Center • TV: FSN (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
New England 14 FINAL
Kansas City 41
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Dallas
Colorado 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close