If Wild head coach Mike Yeo was looking for bulletin board material, he just hit the jackpot.
With the Wild facing elimination, following Sunday night's 2-1 loss, for the second time in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, some reporters are already advancing the Chicago Blackhawks on to the Western Conference Finals.
Deadspin writer Ryan Lambert doesn't need to see either Games 6 or 7 to know the Wild have no chance to win the Stanley Cup. He wrote Monday the Wild are primed to bow out early in the playoffs for years to come.
At the time, Fletcher called those signings a big step forward. But Lambert says its not enough of one.
Case in point: This playoff and last against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wild have been run out of the building in most games against their nearest geographical rivals. The reason for this is simple: The Blackhawks are a great team, and the Wild — even with Parise and Suter — are merely a decent one.
Lambert argues that most legitimate cup contenders build their teams through the NHL Draft, and that free agency in the NHL, like it is in other sports, is terribly inefficient.
But MPR News' Bob Collins points out that the Wild have lost their three top goaltenders to either injuries or multiple sclerosis, yet find themselves in the same position with Chicago they did against Colorado, down 3-2 and they return to the Xcel Energy Center, where they have not been beaten in the playoffs this year.
They don't seem concerned by what Lambert writes or by Chicago's 13-0 record in Games 5 or 6 during the Jonathan Towes/Patrick Kane era when the team has been tied 2-2 in the Stanley Cup playoff series.
"The only thing that matters for us right now is that we have an opportunity to win a game at home and force a game seven," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo.
During their meetings with the media on Monday, Wild players and coach Mike Yeo said they are enjoying the grind.
At 5-0 in home playoff games, the Wild have outscored Colorado and Chicago by a combined margin of 16-5, according to the Star Tribune.
Yeo gave much of the credit to their play on their home ice to the crowd.
Face off is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Tuesday night.