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Craig Leipold said his team "crapped out" in its playoff loss to St. Louis, and now it's up to Wild management to dissect what happened and fix things to prepare for next season and beyond.
There's no way around it: the Wild will lose a quality player to the Vegas Golden Knights in expansion. The Wild also has significant restricted free agents to re-sign, including Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter.
When he was younger, Hill-Murray grad Jake Guentzel was a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Now he's one of them. "It's amazing. You wake up and it's still a dream you get to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin."
In his season-ending remarks Tuesday, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher pointed to the teams regular-season improvement, not the speedy playoff exit vs. St. Louis.
Center improving after concussion, but he laments early playoff exit.
Another first-round exit leaves plenty of blame to go around.
The Wild didn't go quietly Saturday afternoon, but few will remember the Wild's franchise-best regular season now that the team couldn't even get past Game 5 of the first round.
Minnesota and St. Louis players are surprising even themselves with tenacity in limiting goals.
Game 4 was slowed as centers, often the Wild's, drew calls.
Wild's tough, talented winger ditched slump to be playoff force.
Because of the Wild's 4-10-2 March and playoff lack of success, some still feel the arrival of Martin Hanzal and Ryan White messed up the Wild's chemistry. Coach Bruce Boudreau disputes that claim.
Statistical advantages are no comfort in a 3-0 hole.
After a franchise-record 106 points, the Wild is three games into this postseason and has yet to figure out how to win a game against the St. Louis Blues or light up their stingy goalie.
The Wild, the second-highest-scoring team in the NHL during the regular season, a team that scored four or more goals 34 times and five or more 22 times, has scored three goals in three games and nearly 10 periods in the Western Conference quarterfinals with the St. Louis Blues.
With Games 3 and 4 at home, Mike Yeo will have last line change and the opportunity to get Vladimir Tarasenko away from Wild coach Bruce Boudreau's desired matchup.
Down 2-0 to the Blues, it won't be easy to come back. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only 18 teams in NHL history have rallied to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two at home.
Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Stevens is Bruce Boudreau's chief lieutenant and Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur, one of St. Louis' assistant GMs, is the Blues' interim goalie coach.
Zach Parise's goal with 23 seconds left in regulation of Game 1 capped a frantic flurry of offense by the Wild. But the Blues' scored the game-winner just after midnight, following more than 17 minutes of overtime and 52 shots by the losers.
Kyle Rudolph and his wife, Jordan, have grown close with Jason Zucker and his wife, Carly, through the University of Minnesota's Masonic Children's Hospital.
If the Wild plans on knocking off the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs, trying to figure out a way to shut down superstar Vladimir Tarasenko would be a start. Haula might be an option.
Mike Yeo swears he's no longer sentimental and certainly not sheepish about stepping foot inside Xcel Energy Center.
After Mike Yeo, assumed the head-coaching duties nine weeks ago, the Blues allowed a league-low 1.88 goals per game and a league-best plus-33 goal differential.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau knows nothing short of a Stanley Cup — or a Game 7 win or two — will change the opinion of him embedded into the minds of some people.
A poor March seems to be behind the Wild, which finished its regular season Saturday night with a victory over Arizona. Next up: Mike Yeo and the St. Louis Blues.
Pulled in two of his previous three starts, Darcy Kuemper earned his first victory since Feb. 16.
Instead of resting one of his older forwards, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau gave Mikael Granlund the night off during Saturday's regular-season finale at Arizona.
Once upon a time, goalie Darcy Kuemper came through so often for the Wild, fans nicknamed him "The Kuemperor." Now he's trying to hang on to his job with the Wild.
A waved-off Avalanche goal was overturned twice late in the third period of the 4-3 Wild victory that tied a team record for most points in a season.
The Wild could at have contenders for the Norris, Vezina, Selke and Jack Adams awards. Ballots were sent Thursday.
With home ice for the first round secured, coach Bruce Boudreau is weighing the balance between possibly resting a couple of veteran bodies vs. not taking the proverbial foot off the gas.
Nino Neiderreiter scored twice for the back-to-life Wild. Tuesday night's victory, coupled with St. Louis' loss to Winnipeg, gives the Wild home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Wild held off the ceremony to honor Eric Staal for playing his 1,000th game until Tuesday so it could come before the team played Carolina, the franchise he captained and drafted him in 2003.
Erik Haula was motivated to perform well Sunday when he saw he was on the left side of Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund. He responded with the game-winning goal.
The Wild's solid play of late vanished in a shutout loss.
Any time the Wild falls into an abyss, it seems some sort of external move needs to happen for the team to climb back out. Two new players were key to the team's 5-1 victory over Ottawa.
With Devan Dubnyk needing a rest, the Wild didn't think it was fair to push Darcy Kuemper in when he hasn't had many practices lately.
Stalock, 29, a South St. Paul native and former UMD standout, hasn't started an NHL game since Feb. 2016 after a tough season in the San Jose and Toronto organizations. He'll start tonight against Ottawa.
T.J. Oshie's second goal of the game 1:52 into the extra session handed Minnesota its 12th loss out of 15 games this month.
The team is hoping the young forward can supply a boost during its final six regular-season games and playoffs.
Exactly two weeks ago, the Wild waltzed into Washington as the top team in the Western Conference for a best-on-best battle against the East-leading Capitals.
When you are 2-9-1 in the past 12 games and 3-10-1 in March after not so long ago leading the Western Conference, sometimes you have to grasp for positives.
Erik Haula, who has one point in his last 14 games, bit his tongue the best he could after Sunday's loss when asked about his reduced playing time.
A scoreless tie after one period became a 4-0 deficit in the second. The result was the Wild's 10th loss in 13 games in March. But the team did clinch a playoff berth when the Kings lost Saturday night.
Burnsville's Brock Boeser signed his contract with Vancouver after North Dakota lost to Boston University in the NCAA West Regional on Friday. Boeser scored the winning goal for the Canucks.
With a playoff spot in reach, the Wild on Thursday turned pucks over, played sloppy in its own zone, overpassed and didn't convert on scoring chances in a 3-1 loss to the Flyers.
There were no new injuries, no forwards playing defense and no lineup changes from master shuffler Bruce Boudreau at Wednesday's Wild practice.
After the Wild ended its five-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over San Jose, coach Bruce Boudreau said he still needed more evidence of improvement.."Anybody can do anything once," he said.
In the midst of marring what a month ago looked like a banner-raising season, the Wild needs goalie Devan Dubnyk to return to his earlier-season form.
In front of a season-high crowd at Xcel Energy Center vs. the Rangers, the Wild held a brief lead but could not hang on and now sit five points back of the Blackhawks.
After missing three games and not playing in eight days because of strep throat, Martin Hanzal returned Saturday.
Once a fast, structured team that was at the top of the Western Conference in goals, goals against, victories and points, the Wild's game has deteriorated.
Struggling Carolina shut down a lackluster effort from the Wild, which has now lost six of eight games as the season hits its home stretch.
In the midst of a busy stretch of 20 games in the season's final 35 days, Bruce Boudreau said he thinks the Wild is cracking because of fatigue and lack of practice time.
Fourteen years after being drafted second overall, Eric Staal will become the first member of the loaded 2003 class to play 1,000 games in an NHL uniform.
The Wild on Tuesday lost for the fifth time in seven games, and coupled with Chicago's victory over Montreal fell out of the Western Conference and Central Division lead by one point.
Wild defenseman Ryan Suter set up a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol building for himself, teammates Eric Staal, Jason Pominville and Jared Spurgeon and video coach Jonas Plumb.
Conference leaders hit skids at the same time, fueling game's urgency.
For the first time this season, the No. 1 goalie got an early exit from a hockey game after allowing goals on Chicago's first two shots before an eventual 4-2 loss.
Martin Hanzal became the latest Wild player to be struck by a virus crawling through the team. His status for Tuesday's game in Washington is uncertain.
Beating Chicago would give the Wild a boost toward a division title and potential home ice vs. the Blackhawks.
Some began to mutter that there should be a break-the-plane rule because of the number of close calls on goal reviews.
With psyches fresher than their legs, Wild tops Panthers.
Against Florida, the veteran had an assist, three shots, five hits, 12 faceoff wins and a drawn penalty.
Looking slow and discombobulated, the Wild is suddenly in the midst of something that had become foreign this season: a losing streak.
The lacrosse-style goal that Mikael Granlund scored in the semifinals of the 2011 world championships still lives in infamy in his native Finland.
The Wild, healthy again after mumps outbreak, played playoff-caliber defense in retaking conference, division leads.
During a touching news conference three hours before Sunday's 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, the Wild signed 16-year-old Carter Casey of Breckenridge, Minn., to a one-day professional contract in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.
With Zach Parise and Jason Pominville back from the mumps, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Saturday tinkered with the lineup. He's still in search of four consistent lines for the final stretch.
Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker show the team's balance.
In the past nine weeks, the Wild has managed to go 21-6-2 despite allowing 2.93 goals per game.
Despite the Wild leading the Western Conference and being 2-0 since its bye, coach Bruce Boudreau is none too pleased with his team's defensive play of late.
Despite being not very good at all — coach Bruce Boudreau's assessment — the Wild took the victory on Jason Zucker's score with 2:10 to play.
In between the games, there were six-hour bus rides to and from Des Moines and Chicago and a last-minute, emergency four-hour car ride from Des Moines to St. Paul.
The Wild's leading scorer skated through three defenders to finish a game the Wild never led until the end -- and won despite a mumps outbreak that sidelined two key players.
For the second time in 2½ years, members of the Wild have been diagnosed with the mumps. Assistant coach Scott Stevens also is showing symptoms.
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