Minnesota Wild 4-3 (OT) Columbus Blue Jackets
For the enemy perspective, please visit The Cannon
After a somber beginning to tonight's preseason home opener where the Wild honored Derek Boogaard, Pavol Demitra and the victims of the Lokomotiv crash, the Wild fans were treated to what they hope is a foreshadowing of things to come this season from their top line.
Devin Setoguchi, Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu caused problems all night for the Blue Jackets and their line scored three of the Wild's four goals, including one on the power play and the game winner in overtime. On the flip side, the Wild were able to keep Rick Nash off the scoreboard, but Jeff Carter notched an assist and Fedor Tyutin had a goal and two assists for Columbus.
Some points of emphasis: The Wild are still taking too many penalties. Six total, including two by Chay Genoway and Brad Staubitz continues the hitting from behind trend taking place in the preseason. He will likely have a nice chat with Brendan Shanahan. This has to stop now. Also, giving up a shorthanded goal again doesn't bode well, considering the issues the Wild had last season. Pair that with a power play goal for Columbus and Minnesota gave up one goal each on the power play, shorthanded and at even strength. Sure, Marek Zidlicky had two assists, but the defense still needs work, as we expected.
What do we take away? Back to back games, maybe some rust, but that first line absolutely dominated all night. That was great to see. The defense needs some time to gel and the checking line needs to get some focus and not take stupid penalties. Oh, and the Wild were outshot but won. Yawn. What else is new?
All-in-all, a decent showing in the first home game. Now tomorrow we're looking at a very tired club with three games in three days. Expect to see some sloppy play from the holdovers.
Hockey Wilderness 3 stars:
- Dany Heatley (2 G, 1 A)
- Mikko Koivu (3 A)
- Devin Setoguchi (1 G, 1 A)
Wild are 3-0 in preseason for the first time ever.
- How does the Two Sharks and a Finn line look? 8 points? Not half bad.
- Second showing of the Blacksmith Line. Do they continue to pound away? They'll hit anything that moves. Now to make sure they are looking at the face of the person they're hitting.
- First look at ZZ Top. Can we get lost in the beard? Great game by Zidlicky in the offensive zone. Zanon was a +2. Love it.
- Could be a first look at Darcy Kuemper. If so, how does he look? Harding took the whole game. Great to see.
- Wild going with the "Every Kris Begins With K" lineup tonight. Will it work? Scored the first goal of the game. Kid earns another day.