Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/9/11

After the most exciting off-season in franchise history, the Minnesota Wild took the ice Saturday night in their season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Matt Cullen scored in the game’s opening moments, and the Wild rushed out to a 3-0 second period lead en route to their 4-2 victory over the Blue Jackets.

Minnesota fans– who are in the midst of Timberwolves, Vikings and Twins led sports depression–have put a truckload of eggs in the Wild’s 2011-12 basket.

In front of over 19,000 fans, the Wild showcased the firepower that is to be expected throughout this season.

Newly added first-liners Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi along with their center and team captain Mikko Koivu combined for two goals and and two assists in the season opening win.

Now healthy forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard tallied two assists, and showed the 50 assist potential that he displayed before post-concussion syndrome kept him from being 100% over the past two seasons.

Niklas Backstrom shined in net stopping 29 of the 31 shots the Blue Jackets threw his way on Saturday night.

While it was just one dominating performance in a long season. The Wild showed their fans and the league that this team will be a definite playoff contender in the Western Conference. While also brining much needed sports entertainment to the many desperate Minnesota fans.

-Brett Cloutier

Brett is a contributor to The Sports Bank. He covers all things Minnesota sports. You can follow him on Twitter @brettcloutier

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