Blue Jackets vs. Wild
Think there's any chance that Colton Gillies and/or even Todd Richards himself put a little Money On The Board for tonight's game? While a game in February for a team so far out of even 14th place may not mean much overall, for these two it will hold some extra meaning for sure. Richards was, of course, fired by the Wild as head coach last summer, and Gillies was put on waivers by Minnesota earlier in January.
Both were mum, per The Dispatch's reporting, but you have to assume they're both going to be a little extra juiced for tonight's game.
As for the nuts and bolts, it will be Curtis Sanford vs. Niklas Backstrom in net, and Mikko Koivu is again sitting out for the Wild (his eighth straight game missed). On paper, this should be a low-scoring affair, with the 28th (Columbus) and 29th (Minnesota) ranked offenses in hockey taking the ice. If only games were ever played on paper...
Richards and Sanford both spoke today about playing hard and giving the fans their money's worth. Talk of playing for the #1 pick was squashed. What if, however, the fans would still like you to sew up that #1 pick?
At any rate, the Jackets should be able to compete tonight. They just have to back up all the talk of not mailing the rest of the season in and actually show it on the ice.