Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/16/11
Niklas Backstrom has been here before, but it has been a few years since his name was tossed around when the Vezina Trophy was being discussed. It was the 2008-09 season, and Backstrom was coming off back-to-back 30-plus win seasons. He put up tremendous numbers on a team that missed the playoffs and eventually finished second to Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.The next two years were tough on Backstrom as he went just 48-46-13 combined with a 2.70 GAA and a .907 save percentage. This season, however, it appears the native of Finland is back in top form, and he figures to be in Vezina conversation once again.As the season approaches the halfway point, Backstrom is 11-6-3 with a 2.12 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Both the GAA and save percentage are ranked in the NHLs top 10, and, more important, the Wild have the best record in the league.Minnesota has seen both Josh Harding and Matt Hackett turn in brilliant performances this season in relief of Backstrom, and there does seem to ...
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