Game recap via Hockey Wilderness. Please visit the full recap for the Three Stars of the Game and the answers to the Five Questions.
This was a solidly entertaining hockey game with scoring both ways, and a Wild comeback at the end of the game that gave everyone just a bit of hope and gave the Wild at least one point. The loser point is certainly welcome, at least this time.
Once again, Rick Nash absolutely dismantled the Wild, with two goals and two assists on the afternoon. The Wild defenders simply had no answer for him. The Wild have never had an answer for him, and the way it looks, will never have an answer for him. How the Blue Jackets are where they are is mind numbing.
Side bar: The offer stands. Pick any players you want Columbus, just leave Koivu. Pick the package of guys you want, send Nash back this way, and it’s a deal.
Several Wild players had spectacular games including Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom, and John Madden. Yet, shockingly, it was just not enough again. Five straight winless games has to be weighing heavy in the locker room. Hopefully the Wild get a small portion of help in some of the games tonight.
The Wild gave up zero power plays for the sixth time in team history, and the Wild had just one themselves. The referees made some mind boggling calls, such as the even up calls with Scottie Upshall and Koviu, Upshall again with Martin Havlat, and an absolute ghost of a charging call on Brad Staubitz. All fo these calls likely should have led to Wild power plays, yet the refs felt “evening it up” was the better idea.
Wild give up Havlat and Koivu, Jackets give up Upshall. That seems pretty even.
All of that is not to say the refs cost the Wild the game. Far from it. A lack of control of the movements of Rick Nash, a complete unwillingness to park in front of the net, and a couple of defensive meltdowns cost them this game. A game they really needed.
The playoff race just got that much closer to being over.