Reusse: Hynes, Wild go out gambling by pulling goalie in OT

The Twins were staging a rally in Boston on the final day of American League's Great Race of 1967. Down 5-2 in the eighth inning, Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva had produced two-out singles, and then Bob Allison hit a ball to the Green Monster in left field.

That hit drove in a run to make it 5-3, and Allison felt it was incumbent on him to get to second, with the tying run.

Carl Yastrzemski threw out Allison by numerous feet to end the inning, and soon thereafter, the Red Sox had a 5-3 victory. They would win the AL pennant when the results came in later that night.

Yet, Allison's intentions were pure, that if he could make second, one more hit could tie the score, and that coveted companion — "momentum" — would be on the Twins' side (as would the pennant with a victory).

On Jan. 24, 2010, the Vikings were in the Superdome playing at New Orleans for the right to go to their fifth Super Bowl but first in 33 years.

Tied at 28-28 with 2:37 remaining, Brett Favre and the Vikings made enough plays to reach the Saints 33-yard line. A 12th man came out for Ryan Longwell's field-goal attempt to move the ball back to the 38.

"Let's make it easier for Ryan; complete a short, safe pass," was the Vikings' theory.

And there it was for Favre, a nice toss to the middle of the field, a gain, a field goal, a Super Bowl!

The Saints' Tracy Porter intercepted. And then New Orleans kicked a winning field goal in overtime.

Again, the motives for Favre and coach Brad Childress were noble, just unsuccessful.

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There are other memorable moments in Minnesota's major sports when the gamble was taken — and it just didn't work out.

I mean, right here on the same site where Xcel Energy Center now stands, Bobby Heenan reached into that Big Brain of his and decided, "Yes, he would take on the pro wrestling wizard, Greg Gagne, with the stipulation that the loser would be required to get into a pink 'Weasel Suit.' "

This sounded like a fine idea, some ridicule at Gagne's expense, until Bobby was put into a sleeper hold, awoke in the weasel suit and stumbled around the ring in pink floppy feet.

Well-intentioned, these gambles, and there was another on Saturday, as the Minnesota Wild greeted the traditional sellout crowd (particularly for these weekend matinees) for what was basically a last gasp to retain the possibility of reaching the Western Conference playoffs.

John Hynes replaced Dean Evason as coach earlier in this season and appeared to be a magician for a few weeks as the Wild went on a run.

This was followed by a cold streak. Injuries, inconsistencies, and the situation was desperate enough that on March 10, with Nashville in town, Hynes took his desperate action:

He pulled the goalie in 3-on-3 overtime, Matt Boldy scored and the Wild received two points. This seemed very bold, and that's before I discovered that if you pulled the goalie in 3-on-3 OT and get beat, you do not receive the overtime point in the standings.

On Saturday, the schedule was running out, the Wild had fallen seriously behind Vegas and Los Angeles for a wild-card spot in the West.

The opponents were the Golden Knights, the team that had ended those many seasons of suffering for Las Vegas hockey fans by winning the Stanley Cup last June.

These Knights had slumped, then recovered to come to St. Paul nine points clear of the Wild in the wild-card race.

The Wild had benefited from a five-minute major spearing call against Vegas' top-line center Jack Eichel in the second period. Three of their stars — Kirill Kaprizov, Matt Boldy and rookie Brock Faber — produced a goal halfway through the power play.

The Wild carried that 1-0 lead until the final five minutes when Michael Amadio tied it.

Overtime arrived, and Hynes gave his skaters three minutes of flying around, and then here it came, pulling goalie Filip Gustavsson for a fourth skater — for a goal, for two points!

Jonathan Marchessault got the puck along the right boards and bull's-eyed it into the empty net from 120 feet. That brought with it pretty much the Wild's last gasp to reach the playoffs.

In the spirit of Big Bob Allison, dynamic Brett Favre and Bobby the Brain — titans of Minnesota's sporting past — Hynes took a courageous gamble and lost.

No Weasel Suit for him. Just a wait 'til next season.