Minnesota Wild Shock Hockey World by Pulling Goalie in OT vs Preds… and it Works

NHL: Nashville Predators at Minnesota Wild
Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild need points and they need them fast. So after coming away with just one point after going toe-to-toe with the best team in the league on Friday, the Colorado Avalanche, John Hynes decided that one point was not going to cut it against on Sunday against the Nashville Predators.

So much so that he was willing to give up the extra period point entirely, as the overtime minutes started ticking away. With 1:50 left in OT, and the two teams at even strength (3v3), Hynes did something that the TNT broadcasters and analysts all said they have never seen in their (life)time of watching and playing the game of hockey.

John Hynes pulls Minnesota Wild goalie in OT at full strength

He pulled Marc-Andre Fleury out of net to give the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 advantage. Before the announcers or anyone else watching could wrap their minds around what was happening… Hynes’ astounding move worked. Kaprizov to Zuccarello to Boldy for the one-timer.

Not only was the move shocking to everybody watching like me, who did not know some of the finer details to the NHL overtime rules. For those who have great hockey minds, their minds were completely blown when they saw MAF skate to the bench.

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Had the Wild given up the empty net goal, not only would the Wild have lost their chance at two points during the proceeding shootout, but NHL overtime rules state that pulling your goalie while at even strength in OT means that you relinquish the point you gained once the game went to OT. That’s right, once Fleury skated off the ice, it was all or nothing for the Wild.

So, thanks to an incredibly ballsy move by new head coach John Hynes, the Wild stopped the surging Nashville Predators, who now sit nine points ahead of the Wild in the 1st Western Conference wildcard spot. The Vegas Golden Knights hold the final playoff spot in the West, six points ahead of Minnesota.

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