Following Wild games, Managing Editor Glen Andresen will give the five takeaways that he'll remember from each contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 4-3 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The bigwigs that represent the National Hockey League and Versus were perhaps a bit skeptical that their featured game pitted the 12th place Columbus Blue Jackets against the 13th place Minnesota Wild. But those who tuned in were treated to a playoff style atmosphere for two teams literally fighting for any possible edge in the standings. The Wild entered Columbus just one point back of the Jackets, and left with a two-point deficit following a 4-3 shootout loss.
The Wild lacked intensity in a 4-1 loss to the Red Wings on Sunday, but they stuffed it in their suitcases for the trip to Ohio. The Wild came out hard and tough, and really kept that going all game. There were a couple factors that kept Minnesota from walking away with an easy victory. First, the power play suddenly fell flat, going scoreless in seven opportunities. And second, a game controlled by the Wild suddenly shifted in the span of 41 seconds in the third period. A 2-1 lead quickly morphed into a 3-2 deficit, and forced the Wild to press just to get the tie, which they did on an enormous Cal Clutterbuck
Those momentum shifts in the game somehow dwarfed what appeared like Mikko Koivu
’s second period goal would be the biggest. The Wild completely dominated the second period, but the only goal for the 19 minutes, 58 seconds belonged to Columbus. With time about to expire, Antti Miettinen played the role of the dummy rabbit in the dog race. As every dog in a blue jersey pursued him around the zone, he found Mikko Koivu
in front with a perfect pass. Koivu could have made a sauna appointment before depositing a shot between the legs of Steve Mason with 1.5 seconds remaining in the period.
That looked like the biggest swing possible…until the third period.
This game was a physical battle right from the start, which was to be expected with Brad Staubitz inserted into the lineup to combat the size of Jared Boll and Tom Sestito. Staubitz fought both players. Cam Barker was involved in a skirmish. Andrew Brunette and Kyle Brodziak
both took penalties. And yet, the Blue Jackets did not have a single power play, marking the fifth time in Wild history that their opponent wasn’t involved in one man advantage situation. Pretty impressive considering the Wild totaled 18 penalty minutes.
The Blue Jackets wore their new third jerseys, which were unveiled earlier this season. The new sweaters are navy blue and trimmed in baby blue and an off white, almost cream color. What struck me is that the Jackets are the third team to seemingly copy the Wild’s crest that they unveiled on their red jerseys back in the 2003-04 season.
Columbus has a circle on the chest with the team’s name along the outside, and a picture of a Civil War cannon in the middle. Don't get me wrong, I think they are a good look and a huge step up from their previous jerseys. But, am I crazy, or do these jerseys closely resemble the Florida Panthers new third jerseys, which closely resemble the St. Louis Blues’ third jerseys which closely resemble the Wild reds? I mean, right down to the laced up chests. Have a look for yourself and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.