The Wild never held the lead.
In four games against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Wild did not lead one game for even one second.
What a letdown. What a disappointment to a postseason that looked like it might have a different script.
The Wild proved to be a good team, a playoff team, but it’s not a championship team, which became remarkably clear in a four-game sweep by the Blackhawks that ended with a 4-3 victory on Thursday night.
The Wild thought it had enough firepower, goaltending and confidence to knock off the Blackhawks this postseason.
Instead, the Wild was outclassed and lost to the Blackhawks for a third consecutive postseason.
There will be plenty of analysis of the series and season in the next few days, but the Wild’s problems can be boiled down rather simply.
The team’s best players failed. Many of them were no-shows, while Chicago’s big guns rose to the occasion, as usual.
The blame for this sweep falls squarely on the shoulders of Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Devan Dubnyk, who didn’t have a bad series but was outplayed by his counterpart, Corey Crawford.
Here’s the harsh reality for the Wild: This was the best and deepest team in organization history and it didn’t win one game or take one lead in this series.