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Another wholly forgettable effort by the Minnesota Wild tonight. It was very clear from the outset that there was little interest from the buys in white in playing this game. The Jackets controlled the zone for long stretches, were getting clean shots on Niklas Backstrom, and the Wild had no desire to play physical in order to assert their presence. The Wild looked tired and lost from the very beginning, and not much would change as the game progressed.
Nate Prosser would get the goal he wanted to celebrate his newly signed deal, but that would be it for the Wild "offense" tonight. The few chances they did get were stopped by Curtis Sanford, who had about the easiest night an NHL goalie can ask for.
The Wild power play has to be addressed, and soon. Tonight, they made the 30th PK in the league look like the best PK to ever play the game. Just another embarrassment from an offensive corps desperate for anything at all to go their way.
To cap it all of, Devin Setoguchi wad dropped to a third line consisting of himself, Darroll Powe and Erik Christensen. That line was a -2 on the night, generated no offence, and provided little or no defense in return. It shall hereby be known as the "Zidlicky Line."
Speaking of Marek Zidlicky, his level of atrocious play was high enough to stand out on a team that put forth an ugly effort throughout. What the solution is for him is out of Mike Yeo's hands, but if it's me, he doesn't see the ice again. If I'm chuck Fletcher I either trade him to the first team to offer anything in return or I put him on waivers. Yes, waivers. It's gotten that bad. He is flat footed, slow, doesn't shoot enough, and when he does he puts it into a set of shin pads. His passes are not crisp, his game is completely gone. It's time for this to end.
In full credit to the Jackets, they played a great game in all aspects of the game. The PK was solid, the PP looked good, and the even strength game was impeccable. They looked like a playoff team tonight. Of course, they looked like a playoff team against the Wild, so maybe that doesn't say much.
Ugly one in Columbus tonight for the Wild. Something's got to give at some point. Start winning, or start losing, but stop being mediocre.
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- Can the Wild avoid playing down to the opponent? Not tonight, no.
- Is there a way to stop the Wild Killer? An assist and 6 SOG? Nope.
- Can Backstrom continue to hold his team in the game? He did his best, but his team didn't show up.
- Is tonight the night Christensen makes his presence felt? -2 on the evening. This is not the impression he wants to leave.
- First game for Gillies against the Wild. How does he respond? He played well. Got the assist.