Sure, it’s only one game into the NHL season, but the Minnesota Wild look sharp. Swedish goalie Filip Gustavsson was the big hero in their season-opener against the Florida Panthers, as he saved all 41 shots and shutout last year’s Stanley Cup finalist.
Another Swede, Joel Eriksson Ek, had a goal and assist, and Brock Faber also scored in the 2-0 win. Matthew Tkachuk, who was absolutely dominant last year, especially in the playoffs, had a busy night with ten shots on goal, but he didn’t manage to beat Filip Gustavsson once.
Tkachuk was also involved in an incident late in the third that gave the Panthers a great opportunity to get back in the game.
The Minnesota Wild had puck possession in the own zone as Tkachuk was skating back to his own bench. Suddenly, he collided with Marcus Foligno, who did absolutely nothing to get out of Tkachuk’s way. As it happened just next to the Panthers’ bench, every player stood from their seats, trying to get the refs’ attention.
And they succeeded, as Foligno was sent to the penalty box.
The replays showed just how obvious the inference call was on Foligno. Tkachuk fell after the collision, and the puck was nowhere close to the players. But Foligno still reacted in the most hilarious way, almost shocked after the call. And fans on social media found it very amusing.
But many also slammed Tkachuk for diving.
”I’m all for doing what it takes, and I understand the need to do something to get the boys going when you’re being shutout in the 3rd, but garbage like this is a slippery slope to becoming indecipherable from the NBA,” one said.
”That’s a dive,” another said.