Of course the Wild ended up playing the Blues — now coached by Mike Yeo — in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

It is a very Minnesota thing to have happened, primarily because it gives fans something very Minnesotan to worry about: a good season ruined by a familiar face.

It won't take much imagination to figure out how badly Yeo — after being fired in the middle of last season by the Wild — would like to knock out his former team. It's a compelling story line, and beyond that it sets up an interesting dynamic by which Yeo knows a lot about the players against whom he'll be coaching.

A question with a less obvious answer is this: How badly do the many current Wild players who played under Yeo want to beat their old coach?

They obviously want to defeat the Blues and move on to the next round, but does the added motivation work both ways?

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.