10 May 2013

Be proud State of Hockey.

The Minnesota Wild were eliminated last night, losing 5-1 to the Blackhawks in Game 5 and Chicago advances to the next round.

I think it's okay to me a little disappointed, but this is a team set up for success long term.

Yes, the stats on the Koivu line are awful, but I can't imagine many other teams' top line had consistent success against Chicago this season.

The Power Play was dreadful, I can only hope this is improved next year.

Bad playoffs aside, Parise absolutely lived up to his contract this year.  Great numbers and a level of hustle this team desperately needed.  A great role model for all players and fans alike.  Suter, after the rough early start, ate an amazing number of minutes night in and night out.  And when healthy, Pominville proved he can be an important weapon for this team, even if his price was high.  Coyle's quick maturation and chemistry with Suter was invaluable to the success this year.

The tragedy of this season isn't the playoff elimination, but the fall from 3rd to 8th in April.  Pominville and Heatley getting hurt certainly didn't help, but the team needs to work on finding the net.

There is a lot higher this team can go, and they found out first hand what it will take by drawing the league's best team in the first round.  After realignment, the Wild know the playoffs are likely to often go through Chicago and they need to build their team to compete for that opportunity.

There were good signs, even in a series lost in 5 games.  The Wild looked good in Game 3, and were a crossbar away from winning Game 1.

The future is as bright as it's ever been in the State of Hockey, the result could've been better, but this wasn't the year they were set up to win it all.  And if Parise and Suter are the cornerstones, the Wild will have 11 more bites at the apple.

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