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Evason questions NHL’s decision on late goal call in Colorado

You couldn’t really see the puck, so...

Minnesota Wild v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

During Monday’s tight game against the Colorado Avalanche — that eventually was registered as a shootout loss for the Minnesota Wild — there was not a lack of controversy.

The main point of contention was on the goal that handed the Avalanche a 3-2 lead with only a few minutes left in regulation. The Wild ended up equalizing for the second time, in their typical clutch fashion that is now more a characteristic of the team rather than a by-product, but that’s not the point here. It was simply a very weird play that needed a long review.

The play was eventually called a goal, but not by the officials on the ice, but by the NHL’s office in Toronto that reviews every questionable play.

“I said (to the refs), ‘Who made the call, you guys or the league?’” head coach Dean Evason said. “And they said, ‘The league did.’ And then I asked, ‘Did you guys see it in the net?’ They said, ‘No, it was never in the net.’ So I’m really looking forward to seeing the NHL Network or them sending out that video to see what angle they had that shows the puck in the net because no angles that we have – overhead, everything …That puck could be in his crotch. It could be anywhere.

“And sure, you can assume that it’s in the net, but that’s not the rule.”

The rule is super simple: If you can for sure, see the puck cross the line, then it should be counted as a goal, but if you don’t see it without any visible proof, then you’re shit out of luck.

And, well, you can assume that the puck crossed the line, but as Evason mentioned, you can’t really see it for certain.

“I didn’t know if they were going to count it or not,” Avs’ Nathan MacKinnon said. “Obviously, it’s under his foot, but I don’t know if you could see it from their angle. I couldn’t see it on the JumboTron. I didn’t know if it was going to count. Glad that it did.”

When Wild netminder Kaapo Kahkonen was asked how he made the save, and whether he thought the goal call was correct, he was unsure.

“I don’t know is probably the answer to both of those questions,” he said. “I could not see it go over the line, obviously, but also I couldn’t feel it underneath my pads. So I don’t really know, and I couldn’t really tell where it is exactly. But that’s the call and I don’t know the rulebook well enough to say if that was the right call or the wrong call, but that was the call tonight.”

In the end, it might not have had a great effect on the end result any way. There wouldn’t be a late-game equalizer off the stick of Kirill Kaprizov that sent us all into a frenzy, and the two teams would have likely gone into overtime and a shootout no matter what. The standings and the Wild’s record aren’t affected, but it’s more about determining whether or not officiating was up to snuff.

The Wild have a break to clear their heads of the on-ice mess, as they don’t play until they face the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.