|Minnesota 4 - Columbus 2|
3-13-1, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
1. As mentioned the other day, this was an important "measuring stick" game... to see if this squad (NOW THAT THEY'RE HEALTHY!) would finally live up to the expectations that the fanbase had throughout training camp. Suffice to say, they didn't register too high on the hype-meter. I think we're in for a very long season.
|If anyone can come up with a reasonable explanation why|
the Blue Jackets' top line isn't getting it done, I'm all ears.
2a. You would think that they would be embarrassed that, for effort and goal production, they are being outplayed by Mark Letestu, who is pulling in a cool $625,000 this season. That's just under 1% of the CBJ payroll.
3. Steve Mason didn't play horribly, but that third goal by "The Laughing Cal" Clutterbuck was a tough one.
4. In the interest of being fair, the first period really was quite good. They had plenty of shots, limited Minnesota on shots, got two goals and pretty much dominated the play. Mason was playing within himself, and that generally yields positive results (especially when he gets a shred of defensive help). Minnesota woke up in the intermission, put together about 10 minutes of inspired play in the second, then locked down in the third. The CBJ had nothing to answer when Minnesota got their act together.
4a. I admire how teams can shut down a game via a solid trapping defense and hold a lead through to the end. It's a shame the CBJ can't do that.
5. I should have known that this game was going to be a rough one. I mean, look at the cover of tonight's program, featuring now-St. Louis Blues defenseman Kris Russell: