Souhan: Questionable calls just part of drama from captivating series

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 27, 2014 - 5:57 AM
hide

Mikael Granlund (64) attempted a shot on Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) in the first period. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com - April 26, 2014, Denver, Colorado, Pepsi Center, NHL, Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche, Stanley Cup Playoffs round 1, Game 5

– As Minnesotans used social media to rage about officiating, Wild coach Mike Yeo walked to a podium in the basement of Pepsi Center and … smiled.

The smile was a little wan, a little wry, but it was there. After watching his team give up a lead late in the third period and lose 4-3 in overtime in Game 5, leaving the Wild one loss from elimination, Yeo decided not to complain about bad officiating or bad luck. He and perhaps only he, in the Wild traveling party, seemed to enjoy the drama.

“This is playoff hockey,” he said. “You get your highs and you get lows, and it’s how you deal with it. Hey, we’ve got an opportunity to go home in front of our crowd and win and go to a Game 7. … There’s not a lot of things better than that.”

Give the man a cigar. He gets it.

Win or lose Monday, the Wild is in the midst of the most captivating playoff series to hit the Twin Cities since the Kevin Garnett Timberwolves were making their postseason run.

While most Minnesota hockey fans will spend today complaining about referees’ missed calls, it might be wiser to enjoy the violent, ping-ponging melodrama that this series has become.

When the Wild faces Colorado in Game 6 at the X, we can expect blood, sweat and jeers. We can expect the best atmosphere at a local sporting event since the Vikings’ last playoff victory. We can expect a riveting series to continue to stir the ire of players and coaches on both sides. And, given the way this series is gone, we can probably expect the home team to win again, and the series to return to Colorado for a Game 7 on Wednesday.

Saturday night, the Wild lost Game 5 because Darcy Kuemper looked vulnerable … and because Patrick Roy seems to know just when to pull his goalie … and, yes, perhaps because the officials, shaky all night in all respects, appeared to allow an offsides to go uncalled on the Avs’ tying goal late in regulation.

It’s not a series until there’s real hate, and we have that now, with Gabriel Landeskog punching Mikko Koivu in the back of the head and Cody McLeod running Matt Moulson from behind without a stick on his way to the bench.

We had Charlie Coyle cross-checking McLeod and getting caught, while McLeod’s offenses went uncalled.

Unlike in Games 3 and 4, the Wild did not dominate the action Saturday. Both teams played with desperation and not always with intelligence.

You could see the desperation in Zach Parise.

Early in the third period, he flew into open ice, gaining a step on Landeskog.

Mikael Granlund took the puck and shuffled it to Jason Pominville, who zipped a pass cross ice, hitting Parise in stride. Landeskog dived in desperation, waving at Parise’s feet, but Parise unleashed a wrister that caught nothing but net.

Parise cruised behind the net, pumping his arms, only he knows whether his reaction was exaltation or relief.

Until that goal tied the score of Game 5 in the third period, Parise had not scored in this series, and had scored only once previously in 10 playoff games as the Wild’s franchise player.

Parise’s plus-minus rating was minus-7 last year when the Wild offered little resistance to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. He has played better in this series, but franchise players are not supposed to do all the little things well. They’re supposed to do the big things, like scoring goals, too.

Even while dominating puck possession for the past three games, the Wild have been starved for goals, and the reason is painfully simple: Parise, Mikko Koivu and Pominville had not scored a goal until Parise’s third-period wrister.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close