Making the playoffs for the first time in five years should count as progress. For the Minnesota Wild, that step forward wasn't firm enough.
Despite producing only the fourth postseason appearance in the franchise's 12-year history, Wild were palpably disappointed as they met for the final time of the season on Saturday. Not only because of the early exit, in five games of the first-round series against Chicago, but because of the realization that a few more wins would have given them a better seed that didn't force an early matchup with the team with the best record in the NHL.
''The culture is starting to change and expectations are rising, but we still have a long way to go,'' center Matt Cullen said.
The 5-8-1 record in April, including lopsided losses at home in the final stretch to non-qualifiers Calgary and Edmonton, put coach Mike Yeo's status in question. But the 39-year-old said his conversation with general manager Chuck Fletcher about his job was brief but reassuring....