Quarterfinals Begin In Top Plays
Just eight contenders remain in the Top Plays Tournament
The votes for Round 1 have been submitted and counted, and we have the eight elite plays moving onto the Quarterfinals of the Ri-DQ-ulous Top Plays Tournament.
Voting for the Quarterfinals begins today and will go through noon on Thursday, May 30.
Download an updated bracket, and read more about the Quarterfinal matchups:
Wild Captain Mikko Koivu has two superb submissions to the contest, but unfortunately they will face each other and duel it out to move on. Tik-Tak-Koivu was the play with highest vote submission in the regular season, and won by the largest margin in the first round of the tournament. In the offseason, when Ryan Suter and Zach Parise were signed to play along Koivu this play is the type of precision passing and finesse Wild fans pictured. Tik-Tak-Koivu goes up against the captain's overtime winner against the Phoenix Coyotes. On March 27, Koivu refused to let his team down as he drove to the net and powered a shot past Phoenix netminder Jason Labarbera to push the Wild's winning streak to 7 games. These two plays were among the finest Koivu delivered all season and fans will have a tough time selecting just one to advance.
Just like Koivu's bracket, Wild assistant captain Zach Parise has two nominees that square off against each other. In his second game in a Wild sweater Parise delivered his first goal when he blasted a one-timer past Dallas goalie Cristopher Nilstorp's blocker side shoulder. On April 16, Parise delivered one of the most unique goals of the season as he shot on Oilers goalie, Devan Dubnyk. With Dubnyk saving the shot on his pads and falling down Parise shot the puck across the goal line. He then used his quickess to skate around the back of the net to meet the puck and scoring. By passing it to himself, Parise showed off his hockey IQ and knack for scoring in this highlight.
Coyle's shift against the Vancouver Canucks in this March 10 game showcased the skills that endeared him to the Wild faithful during his rookie season. The man-child Coyle was able to withstand multiple checks while the Wild was on the forecheck and he finally assisted on a Zach Parise goal as the Wild won. In the final week of the season and the Wild in the thick of the playoff hunt, Niklas Backstrom made an incredible save with his calf to deny Kings defenseman Slava Voynov the tying goal and preserve the win for Minnesota.
Quarterfinal matchup: Cullen Give-And-Go vs. Zucker's First
On the rush against the Canucks, Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi showed the chemistry that was electric during the past season with Minnesota. On a 2-on-2 rush vs. Vancouver, Cullen had a quick pass to Setoguchi who then returned it to Cullen enabling him to score. Jason Zucker had a reputation throughout college and the minors as a speedy goal scorer. His first NHL goal was truly special though. In his own zone against Detroit, Zucker passed the puck off the wall to himself and eluded Valtteri Filppula to put on the jets. Going coast to coast with the puck, Zucker squeezed off a quick shot and was able to create a memorable first career goal.