Game Preview #68 - Mr. Todd's Wild Ride
Yes, that's a lame title. That said, it's going to be a wild run to the finish, and given how things ended up with the Wild last year and Todd Richards' history in Minnesota, I figured: why not? Bonus points: look who's behind him in that picture...
Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild
March 15, 2014 - 8:00pm EDT
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, Minnesota
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Hockey Wilderness
SBN's Wild vs. Blue Jackets coverage
So, as much as we were fans of the Wild the other night when they dispatched the Rangers, tonight we must turn the tables. New York won last night, and the Jackets need to win to keep pace and move back into that tie-breaker second place spot. It doesn't matter how they get there; they just need the two points.
The good news is that, while still technically a "game-time decision" per coach Richards, it is looking an awful lot like Fedor Tyutin is going to play tonight. As of now, the pairings below are how they rolled in the morning skate, but TR changed the pairings up on Thursday night mid-stream, so nothing is written in stone.
The Wild have loaded up trying to generate more offense, adding Matt Moulson and moving Mikka Koivu to the second line with him in an attempt to balance out their offensive attack. The top line is still very good with Zach Parise and Jason Pominville, and yet the Wild just cannot consistently generate offense this season. Let's hope that trend can continue tonight.
Artem Anisimov is back for Columbus tonight, and Matt Frattin is out of the lineup because of that. It looks like former Wild Nick Schultz is the odd defenseman out as well.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(34-26-6, 74 Points; 3rd division, 7th conference)
|Boone Jenner||Ryan Johansen||Nick Foligno|
|Matt Calvert||Brandon Dubinsky||Nathan Horton|
|R.J. Umberger||Artem Anisimov||Cam Atkinson|
|Derek MacKenzie||Mark Letestu||Corey Tropp|
|Jack Johnson||Dalton Prout|
|Fedor Tyutin||James Wisniewski|
|Nikita Nikitin||David Savard|
(35-22-9, 79 Points; 4th Division, 7th Conference)
|Zach Parise||Mikael Granlund||Jason Pominville|
|Matt Moulson||Mikko Koivu||Nino Niederreiter|
|Matt Cooke||Kyle Brodziak||Charlie Coyle|
|Dany Heatley||Erik Haula||Cody McCormick|
|Ryan Suter||Jared Spurgeon|
|Marco Scandella||Jonas Brodin|
|Clayton Stoner||Nate Prosser|
12/06/13 - Minnesota 0 at Columbus 4
03/15/14 - Columbus at Minnesota
Head to Head Stats
|2.36 (26)||GPG||2.86 (8)|
|2.36 (5)||GAPG||2.74 (17)|
|18.4% (15)||PP%||18.3% (16)|
|80.6% (22)||PK%||81.9% (17)|
|Jason Pominville, 24||G leader||Ryan Johansen, 26|
|three tied, 29||A leader||James Wisniewski, 33|
|Jason Pominville, 46||Pts leader||Ryan Johansen, 50|
|Clayton Stoner, 78||PIM leader||Brandon Dubinsky, 92|
|3/3 vs. NY Rangers, W 2-1||Last Game||3/13 vs. San Jose, L 4-3 (SO)|