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RandBall: Give the keys to the Wild's kids

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wild coaching Updated: May 6, 2014 - 11:35 PM

 

It's become half-mantra, half running joke on Twitter thanks to the evil genius of Clarence Swamptown: "Give the keys to the kids."

 

Decoded, it means simply this: the Wild should be leaning heavily on its young players and turn them loose because they are not only the future, they are the present.

The confidence of the collective seems to be growing, as does the confidence Wild coaches have in the young forwards -- Charlie Coyle (22), Mikael Granlund (22), Nino Niederreiter (21) and Erik Haula (23).

The players seem undaunted, a fact that was mentioned to Mike Yeo after Game 3 on Tuesday, a 4-0 victory in which the kids played a starring role.

"They can't be. We've got a young group," Yeo said. "These guys play prominent roles, and we need these guys to be really good. They're learning on the fly, and this whole experience through this entire playoffs we're growing right now. This game is another opportunity for us to grow, and so is the next one."

He's right, and we'll take it a step further: these playoffs have been defined by the kids. The most memorable goals -- the playoffs-saving moments -- have come off their sticks: Granlund in overtime of Game 3 against Colorado, Niederreiter in overtime of Game 7, and Haula breaking a scoreless tie on a gorgeous feed from Justin Fontaine on Tuesday, followed by another pretty Granlund goal to provide some breathing room.

Zach Parise found the net Tuesday, and most reasonable people would say he has been good-to-very-good for most of the playoffs. Yeo also praised Mikko Koivu's effort Tuesday and didn't seem at all surprised that Ryan Suter came back to finish the game after taking a nasty spill late in the second period.

That's a big part of the veteran core, and certainly those guys are important. But it's those kids that are really turning this into a memorable postseason. The keys are in good hands.

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Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 0
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 2 FINAL
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 0
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 3
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
Pittsburgh 21 FINAL
Philadelphia 31
Carolina 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Washington 73 FINAL
Indiana 78
San Antonio 84 FINAL
Minnesota 88
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