The Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Minnesota Wild on 90s Throwback Night. Minnesota won 5-0. Joonas Korpisalo was pulled just over halfway through the 2nd period. Let’s forget this one and move on.
No? Fine. Here are a few details.
Step On Mah Toe, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Gustav Nyquist start the game off for the Jackets. Stefan Matteau has been a nice little addition early on – but then, a lot of the replacement Jackets have started off that way too. Hopefully it lasts the rest of the season.
Alex Stalock likes to play the puck. Apparently this makes him be almost like another defenseman out there. I like Jody Shelley, but he hasn’t been in the booth long enough to have such a short playlist of clichés. He needs to make new ones! I do think he broke his streak of commenting on Scott Harrington ‘waiting his turn’. So that’s something positive.
Alexander Wennberg hops on the ice for the first time in 12 games just 90 seconds in. The CBJ’s ‘checking center’ breaks up a pass during his shift. Welcome back!
The Jackets get a 3 on 2 with Nathan Gerbe, Boone Jenner, and Markus Nutivaara, but the puck just gets by Nuti’s stick. Immediately after, the Wild return the odd man favor and also can’t get it done. I have to say, I always get a little boost to my blood pressure when a CBJ opponent is on a rush and one of the CBJ defensemen is skating with his back to the oncoming puck carrier.
Shortly after that, Minnesota does get on the board. The Jackets are unable to clear the puck which creates a semi-break away right in the Wild offensive zone. The forwards recovered a little, but the third Wild man in, Joel Eriksson Ek, goes high over Korpi’s shoulder and in.
Not even a minute later, we get to see it again! An ill-considered pass by Vladislav Gavrikov eludes Jenner’s stick and leads to a 2 on 1. To his credit, Gavvy is able to get back into the play and make it a 2 on 2. Unfortunately, Jared Spurgeon joined as the 3rd member of the Wild in the rush and beats Korpisalo high. This one made me wonder how Elvis is doing. It was a turnover, it was a rush…but there was a recovery and Korpi had line of sight and distance. Oh well, Minny leads 2-0.
We are only 8 minutes into the game.
Minnesota gets ANOTHER 2 on 1, but the shot is ripped wide. David Savard was the defender with the gaffe on that one. Nick Foligno gets a couple of good chances to score but is unable to convert. Then the Wild get their 4th or 5th odd man rush! A 3 on 1 that left Korpi sprawling, but didn’t get the puck on net. I can’t keep up with which skaters are goofing up on these odd man rushes.
With 6 minutes left in the period, Gavvy is hit in the face with a stick, but the power play is bad.
Nothing else happened in the period. Minnesota had 9 shots on goal and Columbus had 11.
The Jackets control the first couple of minutes but only generate one shot on goal. The Wild were a little disjointed early as the CBJ forced three icings in the first 5 minutes. Just after that, Scott Harrington waited his turn to get called for a dumb tripping penalty in the neutral zone. Luckily, Andrew Peeke had himself a great PK – he laid the lumber on a member of the Wild and later cleared the puck by batting a rebound out of the air and right out of the zone.
Halfway through the 2nd period and the CBJ have not allowed more odd man rushes. The defensive structure seems more sound. However, the forwards aren’t covering well for pinching defensemen. Gavrikov is faster than I thought, which was good, as he had to make up a lot of ice a couple of times.
As I finished writing down that thought, the Jackets failed to clear the zone again. Mikko Koivu gets the puck on the wall, sends a shot pass towards Korpi which was well deflected by Ryan Hartman. Korpi was down in the butterfly early and apparently didn’t see the puck. He didn’t react until it was past him. That’s a 3-0 lead for Minnesota.
It’s rough writing recaps for a game like this. The Jackets are doing nothing. I’m going into highlight mode now. Only very notable things will get a mention.
At 12:30, Minnesota scored again. A botched clear and Zach Parise hanging out in front of Korpi led to a 5-hole goal that the CBJ netminder seemed to react a little late to. Matiss Kivlenieks comes in to finish the game.
Nothing else happens this period. The CBJ had a total of 6 SOG this period for a total of 17. Minnesota had 10 for a total of 19.
With about 17 minutes left, Foligno draws a penalty.
With about 11 minutes left, Foligno and Boone combine on a good shorthanded chance, but no joy.
With just under 8 minutes left, Kevin Fiala scores for Minnesota on the power play.
With no time left, the game ends.
Columbus finished with 24 shots on goal. Minnesota had 26.
On to the next one.
- Wennberg earned 14:20 TOI in his first game back. No SOG, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots. He’s a checking center
- Korpisalo finished with a save % of .733 with 11 saves on 15 shots. Matiss went 10 for 11 and a .909 save %.
- There’s not much else to say here.