It’ll rank as just another shortcoming among many.
Since advancing to the Western Conference final in its inaugural trip to the postseason in 2003, the Wild has advanced past the first round only twice. Of its last 26 playoff games, the team has won just eight.
And after getting creamed 5-0 by the Jets Friday at Bell MTS Place, the Wild has been eliminated in five games in back-to-back years.
But this latest demise might be hard to forget, as the Wild was tagged for four goals in barely half a period of play – a horrendous start that sabotaged its chances of sending the series back to Saint Paul.
“It’s not the way anybody wants to end it,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “That’s what I told them after the first period. ‘You don’t want this be our epitaph for the season.’”
One game isn’t likely to influence how 2017-18 is remembered for the Wild, but the finish is no doubt memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Backed by a raucous crowd and on the brink of the franchise’s first playoff series win, the Jets were expected to be energetic from the get-go. Withstanding that push was going to be key for the Wild. Actually, a lead and strong debut by it was circled as key.
That never happened, though, with the Wild falling behind only 31 seconds after puck drop – a quick finish that spiraled into an insurmountable deficit that essentially nixed the Wild’s season before it was officially over.
“Losing stinks no matter what,” center Eric Staal said. “It doesn't matter how.”
Here’s what else to watch for after the Wild’s Game 5 loss to the Jets.
-Veteran center Matt Cullen didn’t have an answer after the game on whether he is going to retire.
-This was a rough way for the series to end for goalie Devan Dubnyk, who had been solid through the first four games. He was pulled after surrendering four goals on 10 shots in just 11 minutes, 59 seconds into the first period.
“I made a mistake on the first goal not shifting my feet, leaning a bit, and it cost me,” he said. “But I felt good about my game still. It was fine. A couple strange deflections. But I understand [Boudreau’s decision to pull him]. If the building is going nuts, you need to change something and [backup Alex Stalock] has done a great job of coming in and doing that this year. Certainly not what I had in mind at all, but I understand and I was ready to keep going or not.”
-The Wild’s offense was sporadic at times during the regular season, but it completely disappeared at the end of this series – getting shut out for the final 141:37 of action. It was the first time the team was blanked in back-to-back playoff games since it lost three consecutive shutouts May 10-14 to the Ducks in the 2003 Western Conference Final.
“They definitely tightened up,” winger Charlie Coyle said. “They are a good team. We knew we weren't going to score six goals every game. It was up to us to kind of hold them and stay tight on them, and we didn't do that. That's how it ended up.”