Minnesota Wild 2, Nashville Predators 1 (OT): New Faceoff Rule Costs Preds

Hannah Foslien

A new rule meant to discourage centers from playing pucks with their hand off the faceoff was called on Paul Gaustad in overtime tonight, and on the resulting power play, Devin Setoguchi scored the winner to halt the Predators' 4-game winning streak.

Paul Gaustad played a major role in this game from start to finish, scoring the lone goal in the first period to put the Predators up 1-0, playing a solid role on the power play at times creating opportunities by working the front of the net, and on the downside, taking that penalty in overtime which led to the Minnesota winner.

Here's a look at the play in question, watch as Goose's left arm hitches up, and he bats the puck with the back of his hand:


During the post-game show on 102.5 The Game, Willy Daunic & I both agreed that while this meets the technical definition in Rule 74.6 (found below), it doesn't seem like this was the sort of situation this new rule was intended for.

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Random Observations

  • The Gaustad goal to open the scoring came after a dynamic shift by Craig Smith. Like Colin Wilson over the last couple games, Smith challenged the Minnesota defense and created a maesltrom in front of the Wild net, leaving Gaustad to bang home the loose puck.
  • Someone needs to ask Barry Trotz in the post-game media scrum if he's relieved to see Craig Smith get his 1st point, just to compare against how he handled the Shea Weber question on Thursday.
  • You know, I don't think I've ever seen coincidental minor penalties for Roughing & Delay of Game before. At least if the refs are going to go bizarre, they REALLY go bizarre.
  • Chris Mason put in a tremendous effort tonight, something you love to see out of your backup goalie ahead of a big game with Chicago Sunday night. The Clutterbuck goal wasn't his fault at all, Suter's wrister came in high but Clutterbuck's redirection went straight down through the 5-hole.
  • One thing that bugged me about the Preds' work in the offensive zone tonight was the number of times they had good opportunities and moved the puck to the right man, but the passes were off to either side, causing the receiver to handle the puck before trying to do anything effective with it. In the first period, for example, Klein threw a clever pass in front to Fisher, but since it was well wide of Fish's back foot, it was all he could do to just maintain control of the puck instead of one-timing it.
  • Sergei Kostitsyn with two shots on goal tonight? I may faint. Maybe there's something about Minnesota that brings out the hunger in SK74, as the last time he had 2 SOG in a game was the first game against the Wild this season.
  • It was a tough break to see Paul Gaustad go the box in overtime for that faceoff, but here's rule 76.4 (new to the rulebook this season):

Both players facing-off are prohibited from batting the puck withtheir hand in an attempt to win the face-off. Any attempt by either center to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand shallresult in a minor penalty. This penalty shall be announced as " Minor Penalty for Delay of Game - Face-off Violation". The two players involved in the actual face-off (the centers) are not permitted to play the puck with their hand without incurring a penalty under this ruleuntil such time as a third player (from either team) has at least touched the puck. Once the face-off is deemed complete (and a winner of the face-off is clear) hand passes shall be enforced as per Rule 79.

It's tough, but it did look to me like Gaustad batted the puck with the top hand on his stick, so it seems like the right call was made.

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary

Here are your advanced stats...

Nashville Predators

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Colin Wilson C 14:44 4 15 -11 +4 -13
David Legwand C 13:35 2 12 -10 +4 -12
Martin Erat R 13:30 7 16 -9 -3 -8
Mike Fisher C 13:01 8 19 -11 -1 -11
Gabriel Bourque L 12:38 4 10 -6 +6 -8
Nick Spaling C 12:15 8 11 -3 +1 -3
Brandon Yip R 12:14 9 9 0 +2 -1
Sergei Kostitsyn L 11:08 10 14 -4 +1 -4
Paul Gaustad C 10:26 9 7 +2 -3 +3
Craig Smith C 8:17 3 8 -5 0 -5
Rich Clune L 6:19 3 4 -1 +1 -1
Shea Weber D 17:28 4 19 -15 +1 -15
Scott Hannan D 17:25 6 15 -9 +3 -10
Kevin Klein D 17:09 14 17 -3 +1 -3
Roman Josi D 16:07 8 21 -13 -1 -13
Jonathon Blum D 8:16 6 7 -1 +2 -2
Ryan Ellis D 7:14 6 7 -1 +2 -2
Hal Gill D 6:31 2 4 -2 0 -2

At even strength, the Preds were horribly outshot tonight, 24-13.

Minnesota Wild

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Zach Parise L 14:28 16 2 +14 -2 +15
Mikko Koivu C 13:39 16 3 +13 -2 +14
Dany Heatley L 12:22 11 12 -1 +2 -2
Mikael Granlund C 12:20 10 13 -3 +2 -4
Charlie Coyle C 11:42 14 3 +11 -1 +11
Devin Setoguchi R 11:35 14 14 0 +1 -0
Kyle Brodziak C 9:51 8 5 +3 -1 +3
Pierre-Marc Bouchard C 8:55 5 1 +4 -3 +5
Matt Cullen C 8:23 9 4 +5 0 +5
Mike Rupp C 8:22 5 2 +3 -4 +5
Cal Clutterbuck R 8:21 9 4 +5 -1 +5
Zenon Konopka C 7:42 4 2 +2 -3 +3
Ryan Suter D 20:07 26 13 +13 +1 +13
Jonas Brodin D 18:40 26 8 +18 +1 +18
Tom Gilbert D 17:36 13 10 +3 -3 +4
Clayton Stoner D 16:54 13 8 +5 -3 +6
Justin Falk D 8:48 5 4 +1 -2 +2
Nate Prosser D 8:32 7 4 +3 -2 +4

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