Wild shut out 4-0 at Columbus

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 7, 2013 - 2:14 AM

Victory over Chicago doesn’t carry over in dismal loss.

 

– There are several mysteries in this world, but one that must be solved is how the Wild can so routinely struggle at Nationwide Arena — the home of its expansion-cousin Columbus Blue Jackets, who have made the playoffs once in 12 years.

Yet again on this snowy Friday night, the Wild walked into the mostly empty arena and succeeded only in making everybody forget the elation created by its comeback victory over the Chicago Blackhawks 24 hours earlier.

One night after coach Mike Yeo said the Wild played “probably 57 of the best minutes we’ve played all year,” the Wild followed up by playing what Yeo called “the worst game we played this year” during a 4-0 trouncing.

“This was one for the garbage,” Yeo said.

In virtually every category — goaltending, special teams, forechecks, neutral-zone play, breakouts, battling, simple passing — the Wild was dismal.

“OK in the first and straight downhill from there,” defenseman Keith Ballard said. “They won races to the pucks; they didn’t turn pucks over, we did; they won one-on-one battles. You could see in the second, we couldn’t get the puck out of our end.

“We played D-zone, got it over the red, chipped it in, changed and they came right back at us and started the whole thing over again.”

One night after the Blackhawks registered a season-low 19 shots, the Blue Jackets, who couldn’t muster 30 shots in the prior 10 games, fired a season-high 41 thanks to countless odd-man rushes and shots off lengthy cycles. It was the most shots the Wild has allowed this season.

After a scoreless first, the Wild gave up a knuckling Cam Atkinson goal 77 seconds into the second before Nick Foligno scored a power-play goal four minutes later. It was the fifth time in seven games that the Wild fell behind 2-zip. That 2-0 deficit has also appeared in the Wild’s past six losses.

From there, it was all Columbus as it outshot the Wild 18-8 in the period. Even during a 72-second 5-on-3 in the second, the Wild didn’t get a shot.

The end result was the Wild’s 16th loss in 23 visits to Columbus. The Wild, 12-3-2 at home, fell to 5-6-3 on the road as it began a stretch of eight of 10 away from St. Paul.

Niklas Backstrom, making his seventh start since Oct. 8, had a tough night. He coughed up rebounds and was beaten by two long shots, but Yeo said, “I don’t know who you could have put in net the way we were playing the game.”

“We were just flat and not crisp,” Zach Parise said. “Overall we were pretty brutal through the neutral zone and couldn’t get anything generated. Right away we were just not physically involved in the game.”

The Wild was pasted often against the glass by Columbus’ forecheck, with the Blue Jackets setting a first-period tone by outhitting the Wild 18-5.

It was the most unclean the Wild has been all season leaving its zone.

The Wild had trouble getting pucks through the maze Columbus made the neutral zone, and when it did get pucks deep, it didn’t win enough battles to sustain pressure against journeyman backup Curtis McElhinney, whose third career shutout was a trouble-free 20-save one.

“We were on our heels, we were slow reacting, we were slow getting to places and spots and we were not pressuring the way we needed to be,” Yeo said. “The biggest thing more than anything else was the amount of battles we lost.

“Look at how many times there’s a loose puck, it’s a 50-50 puck, and it was theirs. That’s not who we are.”



 

  • related content

  • Video: Wild Minute: Wild get humbled in Columbus

    Saturday December 7, 2013

    One night after the Wild beat the defending Cup champs, they got humiliated by lowly Columbus.

  • BOXSCORE: Columbus 4, Wild 0

    Friday December 6, 2013

  • Wild notes: Matt Cooke not a fan of Cookie Monster song

    Friday December 6, 2013

    “The things that make me tick are team success and that’s individualizing it, and it’s not me," Cooke said Friday.

  • Postgame: A clunker in Columbus

    Friday December 6, 2013

    One night after an uplifting late rally to beat the Blackhawks, the Wild was hideous in Columbus

  • Minnesota Wild's Jared Spurgeon, right, chases Columbus Blue Jackets' Matt Calvert behind the net during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Columbus Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson, right, checks Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Niklas Backstrom served up a rebound that Columbus’ Nick Foligno put away for an easy goal Friday in the Blue Jackets’ victory over the Wild.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - WP: R. Belisario 7 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Soria 4
Colorado - LP: P. Hernandez 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 3
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 2
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: G. Gonzalez 4
LA Angels - WP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: R. Webb 0
Seattle - WP: J. Beimel 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 5
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 1
Minnesota - LP: C. Thielbar 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Toronto - WP: A. Sanchez 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 5
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
Arizona - WP: O. Perez 7
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Atlanta 85 FINAL
Tulsa 75
Phoenix 67 FINAL
Minnesota 75
New York 74 FINAL
Chicago 87
Indiana 76 FINAL
Seattle 67
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