ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild's season has been over for a few days but they were still coming to terms with how it ended when players emptied their lockers Friday.
Tied 1-1 in overtime with the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round, Patrick Kane scored the series-clinching goal after a dump-in attempt took a goofy hop off a stanchion behind the Wild net and landed on his stick. Just like that, Minnesota's season was over. Disappointing as the ending was, it was a successful year when the Wild's youngsters made major strides.
"We played some good hockey and it was a great series and it could have gone either way," forward Nino Niederreiter said. "But obviously it's a bitter end."
One thing is for certain: The Wild took a step forward this season, with its prospects leading the way.
"I believe that there are a lot of positives," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "But I also am realistic that it's really hard [to keep improving]. And so we should look forward to that challenge."