Minnesota Wild vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: The Morning After

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Nice 2-1 win, and aside from much gnashing of teeth in the Blue Jackets world, that was played with a high stick and was not a good goal.The puck was clearly over the crossbar. As Jacques would say, there's no doubt. Owen Nolan's excited. Are you?

Let's get to the recap!

Hockey Wilderness Three Stars

  1. Niklas Backstrom
  2. Owen Nolan
  3. Mikko Koivu

Questions to Answer

  1. Can the Wild forget the end of the Sabres game and move on? It appeared so, almost a little too well at the end. Need to play 60 minutes here gentlemen.
  2. Will the Wild keep the Nash and Huselius in check? Yes. Shocking, but yes. I think I need to watch more CBJ games to see if other teams have such problems keeping Nash from doing whatever he wants whenever he wants. He's like a wrecking ball out there. Impressive.
  3. Will tonight be the night the PK finally gives one up? No. I'm getting more impressed. It's a passive bend-but-don't-break PK.
  4. Can Boogaard continue his excellent play in the offensive zone? On a couple shifts yeah. He's looked really good in the offensive zone this year. No, he doesn't have good touch, but he creates problems for teams in the corners and the low slot, and is even carrying the puck up ice. Like mbennett said last night, "it's like he spent all off-season realizing he can skate!"
  5. Will Bruno and Antti vanish again? Apparently. I've not been happy with their play since returning home. The time off really hurt their momentum or something. Time to find the game again boys.

What is the team saying?

When asked about the late-game theatrics, Jacques Lemaire went to the well for one of his favorite jokes to open up the press conference. “Well, we’re the Wild,” he said with a smile. “Come on! We’re wild. We like to make it exciting.” "I saw too many mistakes there at the end, we have to cut that down."

“It was nice for both (Nolan and Bouchard) to get one tonight,” added Mikko Koivu who assisted on Nolan’s goal. “If we keep playing the way we are, it’s bound to go in. We’ve got to shoot the puck and help each other out, and go for the rebounds. We’ve just go to believe it’s going to happen.”

What is the press saying?

Michael Russo

Mikko Koivu assisted on the goal. Koivu was just scintillating tonight. Made plays, had six shots won 16 of 26 draws. Just a horse.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored a goal, and the assist came on Marek Zidlicky’s first point as a Wild. He airmailed a shot so off the mark (it deflected off the glass to Bouchard), Zidlicky was seen laughing hysterically after.

Niklas Backstrom was brilliant with 25 saves. He is 5-0-1 with a 1.98 GAA and .930 SP, and is 12-0-5 with a 1.74 GAA and .941 SP in his last 17 regular-season decisions. He’s 10-0-1 in his last 11 decisions.

Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire, who seems to get hurt every other day,  left this game in the second period with a sprained ankle. He wasn’t very good tonight. He appeared to be wearing a trampoline rather than a chest protector.

From the enemy press

Blue Jackets’ captain Rick Nash can’t seem to score on a breakaway. But it was the puck he deflected into the net that had Nash and the Jackets most upset last night in a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Nash had an apparent game-tying goal with 11.5 seconds remaining waved off by officials after it was determined the puck was tipped in with a high stick.

The ruling overjoyed the sellout crowd of 18,568 fans in the Xcel Center and frustrated the Jackets and Nash, who earlier in the period was denied on his seventh breakaway attempt of the young season.

But in a quiet Jackets locker room all the talk was about the disallowed goal.

On the disallowed goal:

According to Mike Morreale's behind-the-scenes war room blog on NHL.com, league execs Chris Edwards, Kris King, John Sedgewick and Campbell huddled and reviewed the tip at every angle. Morreale wrote it was "perhaps the toughest call of the night."

"They had a good goal on the ice," NHL Senior Executive Vice President Colin Campbell said, but "we did not have a view that could prove it was a good goal and conclusively."

“I didn’t see the shot,” Lemaire said. “I just saw it go in. But when I saw the replay, I was sure that the goal was no good.”

"When I heard the rule was above the crossbar," Wild center Mikko Koivu said, "then I kind of had a clue."

"Our description of it, our view of it, is different from the referees, so what's it matter," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "It's not a goal. They won the hockey game."

"I think it's pretty tough to see on a replay, so you're afraid of that," Backstrom said of the would-be tying goal. "But I was pretty sure it was a high stick. You have to believe the right thing will happen. ... I'm pretty sure it was the right call."

Oh, and clearly they're whining in Columbus. I guess I would be too if my team still hadn't made the playoffs and they need every break they can get.

Also, Brassard needs to be fined for shattering his stick within inches of Niklas Backstrom's head. That was absolutely uncalled for. What a child.

The game in pictures

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Game Highlights


Jacques Lemaire Presser


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