ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Yes, the battle back was a sight to behold. But how do you explain such an awful start? How do you explain a team not being ready for a must-win playoff elimination game?
“I don’t know. I don’t have an explanation for that,” Zach Parise said.
The Wild season ends with many things yet unexplained. How a team that was the best club in the Western Conference for most of the season, could fizzle out over the final six weeks, and get bounced out of the playoffs in just five games.
“That’s kind of the last thing we’re thinking about right now is how good our regular season was,” Parise said. “It’s a disappointing finish to the season.”
“Yeah it’s not what we set out to do,” Charlie Coyle said. “We set ourselves up for the playoffs, home ice. We didn’t see ourselves getting knocked out first round here.”
“You can’t point to just one thing. Every game was different,” Mikko Koivu said. “We were close but not enough. And somehow they always got that winning goal or that lead and they were able to hold onto it for the most part. ”
“You certainly think that the energy was there, the will was there, but obviously the finish in the playoffs wasn’t there,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.
It was a season filled with so much promise and potential. But not even Mike Yeo’s teams wilted this badly when it mattered most.
“It’s tough to handle, really. None of us expected this. It’s gonna be a long offseason, for sure,” Parise said.
“I think we all believed that we had something special in here. And we did have something special, that doesn’t change how good of a group we had,” Devan Dubnyk said.
“Well they weren’t the better team, but they won four games,” Boudreau said.
And now the Wild head into an offseason trying to figure out how a team stocked with so much talent could fall so far short of its own expectations