May 10, 2013
Early playoff exit learning experience for Wild
By ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp (third right) celebrates with Jonathan Toews, (left to right), Duncan Keith, and Marian Hossa after scoring against the Wild during Game 5 of their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal at the United Center in Chicago, May 9, 2013. (JEFF HAYNES/Reuters)

It's not good when an owner wins just as many playoff rounds after his multi-million dollar free-agent spending spree as he did before it.

And it's worse when that number is none.

But Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo believes just making it to the dance for the first time in five years is significant progress, and that the lessons learned in their opening round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks are something money can never buy.

"The entire season, if we want to look at it and break it down, there was a lot of progress," said Yeo, after the Hawks dispatched his team in five games. "We've changed the culture. We've improved a lot of areas of our game.

"To get an opportunity to be in the playoffs, not only for the guys who haven't played there, but for some of the guys who haven't been there in so long ... this was another important step for us.

"Even feeling this feeling that we feel right now. This is going to help us in the long run, for sure. We're not happy the way it ended, no question, but we'll be better for this experience going forward."



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