Short-handed Wild face the Blue Jackets

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by spintheblackcircle, Jan 9, 2004.

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  1. spintheblackcircle

    spintheblackcircle ...so that happened.

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    In an important Western Conference battle, the Minnesota Wild host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonite. When they do so, they will be without Martin St Louis, still nursing a sore knee, and Jan Bulis, who strained a shoulder in a 5-1 loss to Los Angeles.

    The loss to the Kings was the first stinker of the year played by the Wild. They were outshot by a 2-1 margin, andDan Cloutier was pulled in the 3rd period.

    "We can't play games like that and expect to compete for a playoff birth," said coach Michel Therrien. "That's 2 losses in a row, and in such a tough conference, that's as long a losing streak we can afford. The Jackets a gritty bunch, and if we don't compete, we can't beat them. These are the guys we have to beat to make the playoffs."

    The Wild are expected to skate 7 defensemen against Columbus with St. Louis and Bulis out.
     
  2. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    The Jackets have to hope they can repeat their home success over Minnesota tonight on the road - in their first meeting of the year at the Nationwide Arena, Columbus came away 4-1 victors. After that win, however, they went an appalling 0-4, dorpping them out of the playoffs behind Chicago and - who else? - Minnesota. The Jackets turned around the skid with a win over the Hawks and last night's tie with Vancouver, but they have more to do if the want to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.

    It's hard in January to imagine games having such significant playoff implications, but no question - for Mike Babcock and his players, tonight is a must-win.

    * * *

    The Jackets' special teams continue to struggle - the PP unit went 0-2 last night, but gave up the tying goal with 5 minutes left to play during the Jackets' only penalty - a 5-minute boarding major to Chris Neil. The Jackets bench tried to argue the call, saying that the Canucks player, Karel Pilar, had been hit side-on, but to no avail. Too bad -the Jackets managed to kill off the first two minutes of the penalty - a minor and they might have escaped with the 1-0 win.

    * * *

    Kudos to Kevin Weekes on his 25-save performance, but the first star on the night went to Canucks netminder Ilya Bryzgalov who turned aside 40 Jackets shots to earn the tie.
     
  3. spintheblackcircle

    spintheblackcircle ...so that happened.

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    The Wild closed their locker room following their 5-1 drubbing by Columbus.

    Brutal
     
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