But the Wild’s Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle went above and beyond the call of duty in those respective categories Tuesday in Minnesota’s 2-1 win over Edmonton (a win the Wild badly needed coming out of the break).
Parise was nailed by a puck in the first period, and the damage was bad enough to knock out a tooth. The cliche is that hockey players are tough, but MY GOODNESS it does take some toughness to get hit with the puck, lose a tooth and then be able to shake it off quickly enough to pick your own tooth up off the ice, as Parise did. And he of course returned to the game, logging nearly 17 minutes of ice time (third-most among Wild forwards on Tuesday).
That was plenty memorable … but for our money, Charlie Coyle topped Parise’s grit with one of the nicest goals in a big spot that we’ve seen a Wild player score for a while.
Watching it live, we saw the puck go in and assumed he must have banked it off a skate. There was no possible way, after going so wide behind the net to elude two defending players and the Edmonton goalie, that Coyle could possibly sneak the puck back in himself.
Except there was, somehow, a way. Just a crazy, crazy goal — and enough to upstage a teammate who picked his own tooth up off the ice.