What can be said about tonight's game? In a search for positives to come out of Columbus I'm afraid I can't tell you much. The second night of a back-to-back is always going to be tough. It certainly didn't help they had to skate with the Chicago Blackhawks last night.
The Wild came out strong in the first with high hopes and some quality opportunities but where not able get one past Blue Jackets netminder Curtis McElhinney. It was some good back and forth action, shots were pretty even and everything looked like your typical Wild game.
The second period was vastly different for the Wild. Their legs were gone, it was sloppy (both ways), and the Wild were not able to convert on the golden opportunity handed to them with over a minute of 5 on 3 hockey against the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets were able to capitalize early in the second, with 2 goals within the first 6 minutes of the middle period. Things got pretty chippy when R.J. Umberger hit Jonas Brodin from behind sending him dangerously into the boards. Ryan Suter, ever the fighter, was given a pretty weak even up penalty in the ensuing scrum. It was probably the least rough roughing penalty I've seen in a very long time.
The third period brought more of the same. The BJ's put up a couple of goals, the Wild skated around the ice looking a lost puppy. By mid-way through the final period you could tell the Wild were just playing to get out of Nationwide Arena without hurting anything more than their pride. In the end, the Wild lose 4 - 0 and gave up 41 shots on goal to the Blue Jackets. It was just not a pretty night for the Wild in Columbus.
It's hard to fault the guys for coming out flat on the second night of a back-to-back, with travel and after such an up and down, highly emotional night against the Blackhawks. This is a game the Wild should have won, but their legs just were not in it. The Wild bring things back home Sunday night for a game against Brent Burns and the always dangerous San Jose Sharks.