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May 13, 2022, 4:42 PM ET [23 Comments]
Dan Wallace
Minnesota Wild Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Not the ending that the Wild or their fans were hoping for.

The optimal word is hope here. The Wild hoped they would win, but there is hope for the future of this team.

St. Louis deserved the win in this series as much as it pains me to say it. Yes the team's were very evenly matched and the Wild could have won the series. However, there were two big differences between the Blues and Wild during this six game series.

The obvious of course were the special teams, which as Dean Evason stated after the game "sucked" for the Wild all season.

Number two was the coaching of Craig Berube over Dean Evason and his staff. I am not saying Evason was to blame by any stretch, however, i believe that he learned a lot in this defeat, much as did his players.

Berube consistently made subtle changes to his lines,, and his personnel. He also was forced into a makeshift defense and he managed it perfectly. Evason knew his opponent had a depleted defense corps but he failed to exploit it.

Evason also waited until the third period of game six to juggle his line's even the slightest bit. Evason also kept a timeout in his pocket in game four when the Wild had a 2-man advantage in the second period and down 2 goals. That was a critical juncture in the series and if the Wild could have scored in that 16 seconds with the top unit on the ice they very well could have gone on to win that game. That would have put them up 3-1 and who knows from there.

Would have could have and should have are all hypothetical, however they lead to second guessing, especially given the fact that turned out to be their last real chance to take control of the series.

It is over and the off season has begun. It will be an active Summer for Bill Guerin as he deals with the roster moving forward and the cap crunch the Wild are in moving forward. We know Guerin has a plan and after losing in round one, the plan takes on some new factors moving forward.

We will look at some of those later. For now it is time to decompress after a successful regular season, but a very disappointing first round exit for the Wild.
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