It's over ... for this year. The Minnesota Wild now get to watch the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semifinals, hoping to get there ... next year.
But first, a quick look back at the past several weeks ... as Wild watchers put a lid on 2012-13:
Derek Felska, StateofHockeyNews.com:"I think a lot of Wild fans could tell by the expression on Mike Yeo's face and the deep breaths he would consistently take after a loss that the coach was running out of aces. By his own admission, Yeo said he had used every trick in his book to try to will his team out of the slumps it seemed to regularly endure yet fortunately for him the team still managed to qualify for the playoffs by the narrowest of margins."
Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo!Sports:"While Blackhawks fans file past the statues of Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, Wild fans have the statue of Mary Tyler Moore."
Chad Graff, Pioneer Press:"Some have wondered where 2012 first-round draft pick Matt Dumba, a skilled offensive defenseman, was. But (General Manager Chuck) Fletcher pointed out that Dumba is still just 18. And while 19-year-old Jonas Brodin played extremely well on defense this season, he's an anomaly, in Fletcher's view."
Jim Souhan, Star Tribune: "This season was a failure. The Wild finished eighth in a 15-team conference, closer to last place than first, after choking down the stretch. Fletcher kept citing the quality of the Chicago Blackhawks as an excuse for a five-game first-round playoff loss, but a show of competence in April would have left the Wild with a sixth seed and a fighting chance."
Dan Shrader, FirstRoundBust.com: There's no doubt that Minnesota's ability to put the puck toward the opposition's net increased as the season went on; they will forever need improvement at being better at possession at even strength, but as is such with Minnesota, it always seems a Herculean effort to score a single goal while it takes little effort for the other team to score.
Mike Doyle, Wild.com:"Good teams have to go through growing pains and one of the best ways to learn how to win in the postseason is to first lose."