Things felt different for the Minnesota Wild with Bruce Boudreau in charge. Veterans and young players alike have flourished. A team that consistently fell in bubble positions flirted with a Central Division title.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, things are all-too-familiar for the Wild and their postseason-cursed coach so far.
The Wild dominated much of Game 1, yet they lost to the Blues in overtime. Game 2 was a tighter affair with St. Louis succeeding 2-1, taking a 2-0 series lead as a few narratives carried over:
- Zach Parise seems to be the only player who can score against Jake Allen, who remains on top of his game. They haven’t been able to best him at even-strength, either.
- Joel Edmundson is turning into a sniper with two big goals in as many games.
- Did we mention that Jake Allen is on fire? Yeah, but it’s probably worth another reference. After looking like a Vezina-caliber goalie through February and March, it sure looks like St. Louis’ unquestioned No. 1 starter is carrying over that strong play into the April contests that mean the most.
- It’s probably unfair to say that Devan Dubnyk has been bad … but he hasn’t been good enough, with such a small margin of error.
Playoff hockey involves tight-checking affairs and hot streaks for goalies, something that Boudreau’s teams have suffered through before. With the series shifting to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4, it sure looks dire for the Wild at the moment.
Things can change, but the answers seem familiar and unpleasant for Boudreau and the Wild so far.