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Wild lament early exit but note improvement

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Photo -   Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo reacts as he watches his team during the second period of Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Thursday, May 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo reacts as he watches his team during the second period of Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Thursday, May 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Sports,NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Wild made the playoffs for the first time in five years. Their appearance was brief.

After a first-round loss to Chicago in five games, the Wild pointed to progress this season but promised further improvement. Simply getting in to the tournament won't be good enough in the future.

Coach Mike Yeo will return for a third year. He said Saturday that general manager Chuck Fletcher gave him his reassurance. But the pressure will be on everyone next season to surpass the standard set in 2013.

The goalie situation is the biggest issue with the roster. Niklas Backstrom will be a 35-year-old unrestricted free agent this summer. He will have sports hernia surgery this week, an injury that kept him out of the playoff series.

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