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Continued: Scouting the Wild

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  • Last update: May 1, 2014 - 9:37 PM

Goaltending

Amazingly, the Wild is back where it started. Darcy Kuemper wasn’t ready for Round 1 after missing the final seven games of the regular season because of a concussion. He looked like he suffered a relapse in Game 7 and is now on the sideline again after winning Games 3, 4 and 6 for the Wild against Colorado. Now, the Wild must rely on Bryzgalov again. He was shaky in his final couple regular-season starts and the first two playoff games. Bryzgalov, who won a Stanley Cup as Anaheim’s backup in 2007, has playoff experience with 41 games, but he’s been at the controls of a few playoff flops.

Coaching

That first-round victory almost assures that it’s just a matter of time before General Manager Chuck Fletcher re-signs the coaching staff of head coach Mike Yeo, assistants Rick Wilson, Darryl Sydor and Darby Hendrickson and goalie coach Bob Mason. The staff did a tremendous job with adjustments throughout the first round, and Yeo’s lineup moves and in-game adjustments all worked out.

Special teams

The Wild’s penalty kill ranked 27th during the regular season. In the first round, Minnesota killed 88 percent of Colorado’s power plays and must continue that in the second round against the dangerous Blackhawks. The Wild’s power play must improve. Not only did it convert only 14.3 of its first-round power plays, it also surrendered two shorthanded goals. Chicago had the NHL’s best first-round penalty kill (93.1 percent).

projected lineup

Forward lines

Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville

Matt Moulson-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter-Kyle Brodziak-Dany Heatley

Stephane Veilleux-Erik Haula-Cody McCormick

Defense pairings

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella-Jonas Brodin

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  • Wild faces fresh challenge from defending champ Blackhawks

    Friday May 2, 2014

    After defeating Colorado in seven games there’s no rest for the Wild, not with Cup-winning Chicago on the horizon.

  • Minnesota Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (30), of Russia, kneels in front of the net during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) ORG XMIT: OTKAH107

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