Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Yeo had team ready

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Wild coaching, Wild management, Wild news Updated: April 25, 2014 - 12:18 AM

I’ve probably never had so many mixed emotions about a local coach as I have had about Mike Yeo.

He’s a bundle of admirable characteristics. He’s likeable. He’s about as honest as anyone in his profession. And he probably became an NHL head coach before any team other than the Wild would have even considered him.

To avoid irrational exuberance after the two best Wild games/game experiences I’ve ever witnessed, I’ll keep this simple:

Yeo, faced with a messy goalie situation and lacking any pure goal scorers, has had his team in position to win three of the four games in the series. In the other – the Game 2 loss – his team dominated the first period before crumbling.

I’ve been debating some of my 1500ESPN friends about Yeo. I can’t say I would have hired him. But I think he’s doing the job admirably.

The Wild’s energy level, defensive system and puck support have been outstanding. Young players like Mikael Granlund and Jonas Brodin have developed, and role players seem to shine when he calls upon them.

I think that has something to do with coaching.

Wrote about the Wild’s sheer dominance for my column.

Postgame, when I asked Zach Parise about Granlund’s three blocks in the final two minutes – one when he didn’t even have his stick – Parise gushed, ``That was awesome!’’

That sums it up.

Wild fans can be rather passive during the regular season. The last two games, and especially on Thursday, they created one the best game-day experiences in recent Twin Cities history. (At least the past four years.)

I had friends in the stands who said this is as good as its gotten at Wild games since their one playoff run.

Now we see if they can shut down Nate MacKinnon on his home ice, when Yeo doesn’t have the advantage of matching lines.

I love playoff hockey almost as much as I hate regular-season hockey.

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Best moment of the night: When time expired, half the bench rushed to Darcy Kuemper for the traditional post-win goalie hug...and the rest of the bench rushed to envelop Granlund.

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I'll b on 1500ESPN at 12:15 or so tomorrow with Mackey & Judd. I'll be in Colorado for Game 5, and will call in to Sunday Sports Talk, 10-noon on 1500ESPN, before heading back for Game 6.

                                            

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
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San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
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Chicago Cubs 18
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Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
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Arizona 5
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Charlotte 115
New York 60 4th Qtr 8:19
Chicago 95
Golden State 48 3rd Qtr
Milwaukee 38
Oklahoma City 40 2nd Qtr 6:32
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Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
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Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 1st OT 3:05
Montreal 2
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 3rd Prd
Minnesota 2
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Wisconsin 85
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NJIT 78
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Kentucky 31
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