It may be Zach Parise’s name on the score-sheet for the Minnesota Wild, but without goaltender Alex Stalock, the play doesn’t even happen.
We’ve talked up the backup Minnesota Wild goalie and his ability to make a play before; but with the suggestion of running him out as a specialist over-time goalie. Alex Stalock on this occasion took advantage of the power-play to get the team moving and Zach Parise eventually scoring.
The first period otherwise was a brutal affair for the Minnesota Wild; with team defense several lacking resulting in 22 shots on Alex Stalock’s net.
Time and again, even since rules came in within the league to limit the play-making ability of goaltenders, Alex Stalock has shown for the Minnesota Wild that he is one of a rare breed.
Whilst it doesn’t clearly show the initial Stalock play, the Minnesota Wild in the tweet below are only able to gain zone time courtesy of him. Zach Parise obviously still has to finish off but the puck isn’t there without his netminder.
To be able to slot the puck up the ice 200-feet and ensure that the power-play opportunity actually comes off is a skill not all tenders have.
I’m sure Zach Parise will be keen to let people know that Stalock, despite not making the official scoresheet was the key assist on the play.
Come the end of the night, there’s every chance that this one play, whilst being a talking point, isn’t the difference-maker.
At the time of it occurring it brought the scores to a 1-1 tie, but in all honesty, it could’ve been several more given the poor defensive play of the Minnesota Wild.
Alex Stalock had been put to work on the Oilers’ goal by Connor McDavid prior, blanking him on multiple attempts before Leon Draisaitl put the puck home.
If the backup Minnesota Wild goaltender can continue to make big plays and keep the team in games, I’d say there’s a chance he’s not sitting on the bench so much and maybe Devan Dubnyk gets a little more rest time.