Wild TV's Ryan Carter gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-0 loss against the San Jose Sharks at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Monday night:
1. The Sharks delivered the late dagger in bizarre fashion.
San Jose topped the Wild 3-0 behind a sequence of events that I, in all of my time playing, have never seen.
Midway through the third period, Logan Couture got behind the Wild defense, picked up a pass and almost made his way to Devan Dubnyk before Anthony Bitetto gave him the old can opener trick -- where you put your stick in between the opposition's pants and hands and then use it as a lever to open them up. Well, that is not a legal move, so Couture was awarded a penalty shot, which he scored on. In bizarre fashion, the referees then gathered and subsequently reviewed the original play as it looked offside.
Though the play did look offside, the ruling stood that the play was not able to be challenged because a coach can't dispute a penalty called, only a goal against. So, had Couture scored on the original play, it likely wouldn't have counted, but because he scored on the penalty shot, it did.
2. Minnesota's penalty kill was a bright spot despite the outcome.
On a night that didn't see the Wild beat Martin Jones, its penalty kill was top notch. The Sharks came into town as the League's second highest-scoring team, in large part due to their work with the man advantage, where they rank fourth in the League.
The Sharks' first two chances yielded no goals, and a frustrated power play that not only struggled to get the puck through to Dubnyk, but also couldn't get it through neutral ice.
3. It was a special night in Minnesota as the Wild celebrated Hockey Is For Everyone.
Hockey again showed why it's the best game on earth, as a crowd of 18,907 showed up to support the Wild and the powerful movement, Hockey Is For Everyone. A movement dedicated to fighting for the inclusivity of hockey to all. We saw six players sport Pride Tape in support of the You Can Play Project, which works for the inclusion of all in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans.
Tonight's BMO Harris Bank Flag Bearer Emily Bergquist, a member of the Minnesota Wild Blind Hockey program, kicked things off in an awesome way by flying out to center ice and slamming down the State of Hockey flag as the Wild skated out before starting lineups were announced.
It's really cool to see the hockey community get behind something so meaningful such as Hockey is For Everyone.
Video: Flag Bearer: Minnesota Wild Blind Hockey