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Wild sound off about Nathan MacKinnon’s controversial goal

After initially ruling no goal on the ice, the officials deliberated for an eternity, then consulted with the league before overturning the original call.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche
Minnesota Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (34) makes a save against Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) in the shootout Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Denver.
Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today Sports
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DENVER — If a picture is worth a thousands words like that say, well, Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason is still waiting to see it with his own eyes.

While the Wild can feel good about themselves after earning a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday afternoon at Ball Arena, they were clearly miffed about a particular play in the immediate aftermath of the game.

With the Wild dominating play in the final 20 minutes of regulation, the Avalanche generated a scoring chance out of nowhere thanks to their top line. The sequence ended with star center Nathan MacKinnon polishing off a pinpoint pass from veteran winger Gabriel Landeskog for the go-ahead goal.

If only it was that simple.

After initially ruling no goal on the ice, officials deliberated for what seemed like an eternity, then consulted with the league before overturning their original call.


The biggest issue the Wild had was that replay never showed the puck crossing the goal line. You see MacKinnon shoot the puck. You see the puck disappear near the skate of goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen. You never see the puck again.

Thus, the Wild felt there was no conclusive evidence to prove it was a goal, even if logic would suggest otherwise.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the NHL Network or the league sending out that video to see what angle they had that shows the puck in the net,” Evason said. “You can assume that it’s in the net, but that’s not the rule. That’s not what it’s there for. I’m really looking forward to the league putting that out. That would be great.”

Asked about the sequence, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar replied, “How confident was I? It was clearly in.”

Meanwhile, MacKinnon wasn’t so sure.

“Obviously it’s under his foot,” MacKinnon said. “But I don’t know if they could see it from their angle. I couldn’t see it on the Jumbotron. I didn’t know if it was going to count. I’m glad that it did.”

As for Kahkonen, he essentially sidestepped the question postgame. All he would say is that he didn’t know where the puck was after it disappeared out of sight.

“I don’t know,” the Wild goaltender said. “I don’t know the rule book well enough to say if that was the right call or the wrong call.”

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