It has been said that history repeats itself. In 2003, the Minnesota Wild faced the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Wild ultimately won the series in dramatic fashion on an Andrew Brunette game-seven overtime goal. 11 years later, the Wild defeated the Avalanche in dramatic fashion once again.
However, this series victory did not come easily for the Wild, as they were forced to overcome adversity and disappointment throughout.
Yet, the results were much the same in 2014 as it was in 2013 because the Wild was able to shake off early-series woes with confidence and tenacity. To be fair, neither team had found a way to win on the road until Game 7, and even that was by no means a sure thing as the Wild had to play catch-up once more. Finding themselves down a goal like they did in three other occasions, the Wild never gave up.
Each time the Avalanche knocked them down, the Wild stood back up. It did not matter how many punches the Avalanche through at them, there was simply no quit in this team. The Wild remained mentally tough and maintained composure regardless of how bleak their chance of winning seemed. It was this mental toughness that kept their chances alive in a hard-fought series and ultimately has the team moving on to the second round.
The Wild will now face the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the NHL playoffs. Once again, the Wild’s opposition will be favored to win the series. If the Wild can remain mentally tough, however, this series may be just as competitive as the last.