After each week during the regular season, Wild.com, along with our friends from Dairy Queen, asked fans to pick the Top Play from each week. So how do we figure out the best of the best? A fan vote in a winner-take-all-style bracket. Well, after collecting two days of votes from you the fans, the Round 1 results are in with 16 teams remaining to fight for the title of Top Play of the Year. Check out a PDF of the updated bracket, here. Round 2 voting will open on Monday, June 2.
Here are the results of Round 1 (percentage of votes in parenthesis):
Granlund’s Backhand Finnish (62.15) defeats Pominville From Granlund PT 2
Koivu’s Tic-Tap-Tip-in (69.89) defeats Koivu’s Buzzer Beater
Granlund’s Backhand Finnish garnered the most votes during the season, earning Mikael Granlund a bracket namesake, and the play coasted past the Wild Card challenger, Pominville From Granlund PT 2. In the next round, however, the play will be up against an even stronger challenger from fellow countryman, Koivu’s Tic-Tap-Tip-in, which dominated its First Round matchup versus Koivu’s Buzzer Beater.
Suter’s Hatty (61.29) defeats Coyle Dangles
Granny’s Slick Play (56.23) defeats Koivu’s No Look To Pominville
Ryan Suter became the first defenseman in Wild history to net a hat trick, so it’s no surprise the capping play, which was set up beautifully by fellow blueliner, Clayton Stoner, advances to the Second Round. It will go against Granny’s Slick Play, which topped another pretty passing play from Mikko Koivu, Koivu’s No Look To Pominville.
Pretty Passing To Pominville (77.61) defeats Pommer’s 30th
Parise To Pommer (73.78) defeats Pominville’s Generous Gratuity
Jason Pominville was the Wild’s leading scorer and was involved in more weekly Top Plays than any of his teammates. He was on the receiving end of a lot of nice dishes, but he also was able to finish, so it’s no coincidence he has a bracket named after him. His top seeded play, Pretty Passing To Pominville, won by the largest margin in Round 1, topping his 30th of the season. The play has a tough challenger in its next matchup, Parsie to Pommer, which eased past Pominville’s Generous Gratuity.
Prosser’s HDM Winner (64.29) defeats Pominville’s Shelf Work
Granny to Pommer (61.71) defats Ballard Teaches Front Flip Lessons
We have our first upset of the tourney, as the Wild Card entry, Prosser’s HDM Winner, takes out Pominville’s Shelf Work. It will clash with Granny to Pommer, which upended our Hits of the Week winner, Ballard Teaches Front Flip Lessons.
OMParise (75.58) defeats Parise’s Sweet Tip
Parise Ties Papa (50.78) defeats Parise’s Shorty
Zach Parise’s mark is splashed all over the tournament, so he is the final individual to have a bracket named after him, and two of his plays move on to Round 2. First, OMParise demolished Parise’s Sweet Tip in a lopsided matchup. In the thinnest margin of victory in the tourney, Parise Ties Papa edges Parise’s Shorty.
Nin-OT (63.43) defeats (Dumba’s First)
Nino’s Shootout Winner (62.69) defeats Niederreiter Nets One
Nino Niederreiter had Minnesota’s play of the playoffs with his Game 7 series clincher against the Colorado Avalanche (in case you missed it, I counted down the club’s top playoff plays last week), but that wasn’t eligible because this is a regular season tournament. Well, he’s got two plays moving on, first, Nin-OT, his overtime winner against Nashville, and Nino’s Shootout Winner, coming against the Kings.
Kuemper’s Tippy Toe (58.87) defeats Glove-ly Harding
Bryz Paddle Down (55.56) defeats Spurgeon’s Quick Stick Save
The Wild deployed a number of netminders this season, so we had to name the final bracket, simply, saves, because all the goalies were spectacular. So, it comes as no surprise that Wild Card play, Kuemper’s Tippy Toe, upsets Glove-ly Harding to move on. Meeting in the next round, Bryz Paddle Down takes out the lone non-goalie save in the tourney, Spurgeon’s Quick Stick Save.
Hard Save (54.41) defeats Cool Hand Harding
Kuemper Denies (60.98) defeats Kuemper Kick And Glove
Josh Harding was one of the National Hockey League’s top performers before his battle with Multiple Sclerosis sidelined him for the season. However, his first-half performance is recognized in this tournament, and Hard Save advances past Cool Hand Harding. The play will go against rookie netminder, Darcy Kuemper, who’s Kuemper Denies stops Kuemper Kick And Glove.