The full list of player injuries likely will be revealed when the Wild holds its end-of-the-season access, but coach Mike Yeo mentioned after Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss to Chicago that several players were skating hurt.
Right winger Charlie Coyle played despite two separated shoulders. It was apparent especially in Games 5 and 6 against Chicago that Coyle was uncomfortable and having trouble catching passes, stickhandling and shooting.
“The way that our young kids performed, I’m very proud of them,” Yeo said after the season-ending game. “You’ve got guys that are getting needles to numb the pain. They’re battling through an incredible amount, so what you see out there is only scratching the surface of the way they’re paying the price, physically, mentally, emotionally.”
Defenseman Nate Prosser was playing with a broken right ring finger since Game 5 of the first round when he blocked Colorado center Paul Stastny’s shot, while it’s believed Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville and Ryan Suter all had “issues,” as Suter called them earlier this week.
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, the first Wild goalie to get points in his first 10 starts (7-0-3) of the regular season, did everything he could do in Games 5 and 6 to lead the Wild.
“I’ve been so happy here,” Bryzgalov said Tuesday night. “I wish we can accomplish more. It is what it is. My personal experience was probably the best team I’ve played [for], best organization I’ve been [in].”
Bryzgalov, who has played for Anaheim, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Edmonton, is an unrestricted free agent. It’s premature to say whether he’ll be back with the Wild.
“I’m really proud of him, what he brought to our group,” Yeo said.
“You know we all heard stories about Bryz and all I can say is this guy was an unbelievable teammate and came into some really tough situations and he was incredibly bought in to our team.”
Haula plays on
Center Erik Haula flew to Minsk, Belarus, on Wednesday night to represent Finland in the rest of the world championships. Finland is 1-2 in the tournament that is scheduled to end May 25.
This will be the fourth time the Pori, Finland, native represents his country in an international tournament.
Haula scored the Wild’s only goals in Games 5 and 6, had a point in five of six games in the second round, and tied Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund for the team lead with four playoff goals.