All season long we’ve been bringing you the best Wild links from around the Internet, weekly. After the season came to a close last night, with the wounds still fresh, this week’s links were admittedly difficult to compile. We want to stay honest here, but also reflect on Minnesota’s effort. So laugh, cry or do whatever you need to get through, but definitely check out what the local and national media are saying about the boys in Forest Green.
THE GAME THAT WAS
Like ripping off a band-aid, we’re getting right to the point here this week. Last night the Wild fell 2-1 in overtime to the Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Second Round, drawing Minnesota’s season to a close.
Lady luck seemed to jilt the Wild like the team had taken her out for a nice date last weekend and never called her back, as a bad bounce spelled the end of Minnesota’s Stanley Cup run.
Naturally, there were many positives to pull from the night and the season overall. Both Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune and Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press help the State of Hockey reflect on those bright spots and induce hope for the future.
And while he may not be your favorite player, despite his show time antics, Patrick Kane’s a good sport and shares some great comments with the Wild in the postgame handshake line. Look out for what he says to Erik Haula and Jared Spurgeon. You can also check out his reaction to his game-winner here, or not. I can’t force you to click on it.
IN THE COACH’S CORNER
Very rarely does Mike Yeo let the spotlight rain down on him. But this week we learned a bit more about the Wild’s Bench Boss as more and more people started to take notice of what he’s accomplished with his group over the season.
First, Randy Sportak explores Yeo’s path to NHL head coach-dom, starting with his days as a player.
Powers also reflects on Yeo’s system this season and how sticking with his plan helped the Wild achieve more.
Finally, Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune talked to the players about their coach after Game 6 and how he was able to keep the room even-keeled through out the ups and downs of the season.
HE HAS A POINT
Maybe we’ve felt this way all along, we are the State of Hockey after all, but this week John Buccigross of #bucciovertimechallenge and ESPN anchor fame, looked at the arrival of hockey in Minnesota on the national scene.
While he also talks about the Blue Jackets in the same sense in Ohio, he notes how the team’s success this season, building on last season, has helped the Wild organization go from that team in the State of Hockey to a force others with which should be concerned.
On a whim last week, mainly due to an abundance of good quotes on the subject, I threw together a story on the Wild’s group of young forwards — Haula, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Justin Fontaine.
When I started compiling stats for the story, I honestly had no idea how impressive they were until I put them all together. The “kids” stepped up their game this postseason and accounted for a big chunk of Minnesota’s offense.
I wasn’t the only one who took notice. Shawk Roarke of NHL.com highlighted Niederreiter’s play this postseason and how he found his game.
Finally, if you need a good pick-me-up, check out this goal song for Erik Haula from his USHL days with the Omaha Lancers. You won’t be disappointed.
FINDING THE ANSWERS
WCCO recently focused their “Good Question” segment solely on the Wild and it’s playoff run.
From attendance numbers, to playoff beards, to what kind of animal Nordy is, they chase down the answers.
Finally, we wanted to say thank you for making this season a great one. The fans really brought it in the postseason and made Xcel Energy Center a special place to come to work each day.
And if you want to collect some more memories from the season, be sure to check out the Wild’s online auction. Proceeds benefit the Wild Foundation.