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And then, there were 14.
The Minnesota Wild were once again eliminated in the 1st round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs lost night, dropping a 5-2 decision to the St. Louis Blues and sending them home for an early summer. It's an all-too familiar refrain for Wild fans, who have now had to watch their team drop a 7th straight postseason series.
And while they say that hindsight is always 20-20, many are now left wondering about the sticky situation in between the pipes. The Wild enjoyed a strong year from goaltender Cam Talbot, though GM Bill Guerin decided that they needed additional veteran experience and that came in the form of the acquisition of Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury, who immediately fit in with his new team and teammates, was named the starter for the Wild at the beginning of their series against the Blues and posted a 2-3 record in the five matchups he started. Head coach Dean Evason decided to go back to Talbot for last night's elimination game, and it didn't go well. Talbot showed clear signs of rust, allowing a terrible goal to defenseman Nick Leddy in the 1st period en route to the loss.
And now, according to The Athletic's Micheal Russo, there may be bad blood between Talbot and the Wild that will need to be addressed. Take a look:
"There also may be lingering effects to sidelining No. 1 goalie Cam Talbot until Game 6 for Marc-Andre Fleury despite Talbot going 13-0-3 in his final 16 starts.
They'll either need Talbot to forgive and forget and clear his head by training camp with one year left on his deal or perhaps trade him. Regardless, this seventh early offseason will need to be dissected by management because after holding a 2-1 series lead, to lose three consecutive games after a 53-win, 113-point season is unacceptable."
Talbot has one year left on the three-year deal that he inked with the Wild in 2020.