Monday, April 28, 2014

It All Comes Down To This

Photo: Marilyn Indahl/USA Today
There is no adjective that can adequately describe Game Five.

No matter how you describe it, the game ends the same way: Colorado wins 4-3 in overtime and takes a 3-2 series lead. Not the outcome any of us want. The game had extreme highs and extreme lows. It had just about a little of everything. Bottomline: the game ended with the Wild losing a game they should have won.

Perhaps the best attitude from the Wild following the game was from their head coach, Mike Yeo, who simply said "it doesn't do us any good to dwell on it". Basically he was nicely saying "we are putting this one in the trash, quickly". He did not sit there and complain about the officials. He was already focusing on Game Six.

Whether you like it or not, that was the right attitude. Had he sat there and rambled on about officiating, the Wild might as well raised the white flag tonight. They would be done. He didn't. He told us that the team needs to be better. Period. If the Wild come back and win this thing, remember that presser after Game Five.

The regular season started 207 days ago. The debate was whether they needed to win a playoff series for the season to be considered a success. Well, after 43 wins, 98 points, 208 goals, and an infinite amount of goaltenders used, the Wild have done just that. They made it and have played five gut wrenching games of hockey. Problem is, they trail 3-2 and now have their backs against the wall.

To be fair, the Wild have been at their best all year with their backs against the wall. They reeled off nine wins in 14 contests that month, after finishing December with six straight losses. They finished the season winning six out of eight games to clinch the top Wild Card spot, after losing nine out of 14 games to open the month of March.

Now comes their greatest test. Down 3-2 in a series they should be up in, if not won already, and playing a crucial Game six at home after a horribly deflating loss.

What happens? Who knows. Anything is possible after Game Five. But as noted above, they will not go down easily. They will give you a fair fight.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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