ST. LOUIS – Zach Parise still was perplexed after Monday’s 3-0 loss to the Blues for having a goal disallowed 30 seconds in.
Referee Frederick L’Ecuyer ruled Parise deflected Ryan Suter’s point shot with a high stick. Since the NHL war room in Toronto found no conclusive evidence to overturn the goal, the zebra’s call stood.
“There was no way — no way — my stick was over the crossbar,” said Parise, who later left the game because of an injured left foot. “I don’t know what they’re watching. I get that on the ice they make that split-second call. I get that. But once you review it and you have all the camera angles, I mean, I’m 5-10, I don’t even think my stick was even over my waist. That’s a bad call.
“That’s the wrong call. There’s just no way around it. That’s just the wrong call.
To make matters worse, 50 seconds after the goal was waved off, Vladimir Sobotka gave the Blues a 1-0 lead to change the complexion of the game.
“Of course there’s frustration on the bench, and they come back and score right after, it’s really deflating in a game we were prepared for, in a game I felt ready to play,” Parise said. “That’s really deflating.”
“They’re a team that’s tough to play against anyway, but when they get the lead, it makes it harder,” Jason Pominville said.
Red, white and blue
Monday’s first meeting between the Wild and Blues featured three — Parise, Suter and Blues captain David Backes — of the five members of the United States’ “leadership group” for February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russia.
In July, those three and the other two members, Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown and Rangers captain Ryan Callahan, met with General Manager David Poile and coach Dan Bylsma at a Bloomington hotel for two days of Olympic planning.
One of the players will be named captain. The other four, Parise said, likely will rotate the “A’s.”
“You can’t really go wrong,” Parise said of who will be chosen captain. “We all play the right way and are not necessarily the most vocal guys, but play hard on the ice and lead by example.”
Backes agreed, saying, “It doesn’t matter who’s got the ‘C’ on their jersey. As a unit of five guys, we’re going to have to have leadership by committee. Whoever it is, I’m guessing it’ll take a great support with the other four.”
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, a member of Team Canada’s staff, joked, “I hope they fail miserably. I hope they all get ankle strains and can’t play and Backes is ready to go in Vancouver for [the Blues’] first practice [after the Olympic break].”
Veteran winger Mike Rupp made his long-awaited season debut after offseason knee surgery on a line with Zenon Konopka and Justin Fontaine. He played eight shifts and had two shots.
Rupp, 33, had just completed five games during a conditioning stint with AHL Iowa and drew into his first NHL game since May 9 because Mikael Granlund missed his second game in a row because of an upper-body injury.