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

Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
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
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 6:00 PM
Cleveland
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Washington
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
New York
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tampa Bay 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
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
Cincinnati
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
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
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
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
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
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(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
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
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
UCF
(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
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
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
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close