C.G. Jones is the author of this piece. 15 minutes ago
After falling behind 3-1 in the series, the Minnesota Wild have forced a Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights. While this is fantastic news for the Wild, it is the same position that the Knights experienced in 2019, when the San Jose Sharks came back from a 3-1 series deficit to upset them in the first round.
It’s now Minnesota’s turn.
Despite a contentious goaltender interference penalty that put the Wild on the power play and ended in a Wild goal, Cam Talbot put in a career-best performance, stopping all 23 of Vegas’ shots for his second shutout of the series.
The Goal that was Overturned in Vegas
Chandler Stephensen beat Cam Talbot with a one-timer from the circle with just over 11 minutes left in the third period. Only Alex Tuch was in the crease, leading in an overturned goal and a 1-0 Wild score. Minnesota scored their second goal on the power play following a delay-of-game penalty against Vegas. Kevin Fiala scored his first goal of the series.
There has been a lot of debate over what constitutes goalkeeper interference. For many, it appears that the referees haven’t been consistent in their definitions. Tuch’s goalkeeper interference, on the other hand, is oddly evocative of an earlier in the series overturned goal against Joel Eriksson Ek.
The NHL has been debating whether or not to adopt the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) foot-in-crease regulation. Even if this rule would annoy some individuals, it would at least be discernible after a replay.
In 2018, Paul Romanuk wrote an article for Sportsnet arguing that the NHL should adopt the IIHF’s foot-in-the-crease penalty rule, which states: “If an attacking skater establishes position in the goal crease, play will be stopped and the ensuing faceoff will take place at the nearest faceoff spot in the neutral zone.”
The NHL has yet to decide how it will handle goaltender interference in the future, but it’s clear to say that the Wild benefited from the inconsistent calls on Wednesday night.
Cam Talbot blanked Vegas for the second time in the series thanks to the interference call, sending the series to a Game 7 battle in Vegas on Friday night.
Cam Talbot’s Outstanding Performance
Marc Andre-Fleury, as expected, performed admirably throughout the series, as he had throughout the season. But it was unthinkable that Cam Talbot would record two shutouts in a series against a high-scoring team like Vegas.
Talbot has a.915 save percentage over the course of the season, with 19 wins and only eight losses in 33 games. This season, he has a 2.63 goals against average, which is the same as previous year when he was in Calgary.
In his 29 postseason starts, Talbot has six shutouts. This is a surprising statistic for a goaltender who went undrafted and played hockey at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. This isn’t necessarily an All-Star start.
Nonetheless, Talbot has been precisely what Minnesota required to be a playoff contender this season. Despite the Wild’s struggles to score points throughout the series, Talbot has stepped up and given his side a shot to win nearly every night.