By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This was not the plan, but it is what it is for the Minnesota Wild.

A season with high expectations came to an end in the first round. Upon review, well, it depends on what you review: the playoffs or the first 82 games. Whichever you pick, don’t look for big changes.

Could Bruce Boudreau have done anything to get their peak performance in April rather than January?

“I don’t think you can sit there and try to form that, ‘Hey … we’re going to play our best in February and March and April and going in there.’ You got to try to play your best from day one,” Boudreau said.

As the team cleaned out their lockers, they were asked about mental toughness — as in is their’s enough to play for the Stanley Cup?

[graphiq id=”4eIz6DymJoh” title=”Minnesota Wild 2016-17 Postseason Profile” width=”600″ height=”1000″ url=”” ]

“I believe, but obviously you got to prove it,” said Mikko Koivu. “We can sit here and say that before you do it, but like I said, I think that every series is different.”

If there was some good news, it was about the condition of one of their key players. Eric Staal left Game Five with a head injury. He was back at the Xcel Energy Center Tuesday.

He suffered what was a numbing concussion when his head hit the boards Saturday. He was back, and said he feels good now — keenly aware of what it looked like.

“I think everybody in this game knows somebody or knows of somebody that, you know, has crashed in the boards and [was] not able to get up,” Staal said. “I feel fortunate.”


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