Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gm # 6: Wild 2, BJs 1

The number one star of the game last night should have been "Obscurity."

The Wild "won" the game when a game-tying-goal from Rick Nash with 11 seconds left in regulation was "overturned" by three of the four on-ice officials. What? You didn't realize a referee's call could be overturned? Don't worry, neither did I.

Thanks to Mike Russo for bringing the following blog from the war room in Toronto to our attention. It illuminates how the decision to NOT award the goal to Nash came down. Specifically:

"You're probably wondering why the referee on the ice pointed 'Goal' following the actual tip by Nash and then announced 'there was inconclusive evidence and the ruling has been reversed, no goal.' What happened is this: The ruling on a high stick goal or non-goal is the only play on the ice where, if deemed inconclusive here in Toronto, actually goes back to the referees and linesmen officiating that particular game. In the Minnesota-Columbus contest, the one referee who initially ruled goal was overruled by the other three officials on the ice - thus his call was reversed and Nash's attempt was ruled 'No Goal.'"

Pretty interesting stuff.

I thought it was close, but I obviously didn't have the best views.

As for the game, this was the second straight game the Wild dicked around with a lead late in the game and made things needlessly interesting. So, if once is a mistake and twice is a trend, then it's time to start getting concerned. You're just not going to have prolonged success in professional sports if you can't close out a game. Now, they can reverse this right here and now and it will cease to be an issue. But, it has to be a main topic regarding the team right now.

Teams have started backing off on Mittens - with the result being that he hasn't been able to dance around everyone and deke the goalie out of his breezers in the last couple games.

I really thought Skoula played fine again. And Kimmy had a much better game. In fact, the whole defense played pretty well - the one goal that counted for the BJs was on a tip off a shot from the point (and Nash's would-be tying goal was a tip as well) - so the pieces are there.

Goals from Butch and Nolan (GWG) also show that there's better depth than we thought there would be when the off-season moves came down. And it's great to watch Nolan ply his trade in front of the net on PPs - something the Wild has sorely lacked for a long time.

Backstrom was terrific again. The biggest difference to me so far is that he's making those huge moment saves that gives the team a lift. That wasn't always the case. But he's playing like one of the top goalies in the league - and it's time to forget about what Gaby may or may not sign for and give Nik the extension he deserves before rancor sets in. Gaby, by the way, missed his fifth-straight game.

Chicken Little says: If the sky doesn't start falling until mid-way through the 3rd period, it's still falling.

Pollyanna says: Sure it was tense, but they pulled out the win and learned from their mistakes against Buffalo.

Bottom Line: Lucky. It's tough to keep having to thread the needle like this. But it's a win.

Stud: Backstrom has elevated his game this season.

Dud: Shep's too big a guy to be that invisible in a game.



KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

You haven't seen dicking around with a lead until you see a team once again get out-shot 18-2 in the third period while up 2-0.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nick,
Excellent reads as always. We've linked to your blog in the MIN forum if you don't mind. BTW, we've moved to now. Drop by for an e-beer. ;)

Unknown said...

Chicken Little is right, doesn't matter if it's late in the game when we slack off, they still can rally for the win(Sabres.)