Found May 01, 2013 on
Fox Sports North:
ST. PAUL, Minn. Minnesota's Josh Harding didn't have much time to prepare for Tuesday's start in Game 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
As a backup goalie, Harding is used to preparing as though he'll be thrown into the fire on a moment's notice, but Tuesday was a particularly unusual case. Starter Niklas Backstrom was injured in pregame warm-ups. Just minutes before the Wild's first playoff game was about to begin, Harding finished taking the remaining shots in warm-ups and assumed he was starting unless someone told him otherwise.
As it turned out, Harding was brilliant despite the short notice and stopped 35 of 37 shots he faced in the Wild's 2-1 loss at United Center. Now the question remains: Did Harding's performance Tuesday warrant another start in Game 2 on Friday, regardless of Backstrom's status?
"That's not a question for me," Harding said Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center. "That's the coaches' call. That's what they're here to do."
Wild coach Mike Yeo said Wednesday it's too early to tell what his goaltender situation will be Friday. Yeo called Backstrom day-to-day with what he would only classify as a "lower-body injury." Yeo added that the team was without much of a backup plan if Harding would have gone down during Tuesday's game.
To add insurance, Minnesota has since recalled goalie Darcy Kuemper from the AHL's Houston Aeros. Kuemper was in St. Paul on Wednesday, although the Wild did not practice. Backstrom will be re-evaluated Thursday, Yeo said, before the team heads to Chicago for Game 2 on Friday.
Tuesday was Harding's first start in net since Jan. 30 against Chicago, when he was pulled after allowing two goals on four shots. It's been a tough season for Harding as he continues to deal with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, which has limited him to six games with the Wild this season. He was thrust into a big game for Minnesota last week against Edmonton when Backstrom was pulled after a rough start. Harding gave up three goals on 12 shots in the Wild's second-last regular-season game. A victory in that game would have sealed a postseason spot for Minnesota. Instead, the Wild had to win their final game of the season to sneak into the playoffs.
If Harding gets the nod Friday, Yeo said he has complete confidence in his No. 2 goalie to do the job again.
"I was anxious for a lot of reasons to see him have a chance to bounce back after he was thrown into a tough situation in that Edmonton game," Yeo said. "If you know Josh, he's a competitor. I'm sure he was looking for an opportunity to get back in there, too. Obviously, I wasn't expecting it to happen like that. You've got confidence in the guys that are in your room. Part of that is seeing them, the way they play, but another huge part of it is knowing their personalities and how they deal with stuff like that."
Harding said Wednesday that he didn't see Backstrom suffer the injury. It wasn't until captain Mikko Koivu told Harding to get in net for the rest of warm-ups that Harding knew something was going on.
"Obviously, there's a lot of emotions going through your head," Harding said. "I've been a backup goalie for a bit. I know how important it is to get ready for every game. Unfortunate circumstance, but I thought that I was ready and prepared myself right."
The Wild took an early 1-0 lead Tuesday on a goal by Cal Clutterbuck. Chicago came back to tie it on a power-play goal by Marian Hossa in the second period. Though the Blackhawks had plenty of chances to win the game in regulation, Harding stood tall and forced overtime.
On its 37th shot of the game, Chicago finally found a way to beat Harding for a second time when Bryan Bickell scored at the 16:35 mark of overtime. It's certainly hard to fault Harding for Minnesota's loss, especially given the circumstances of his start.
"He's had a hard year. We all know that. He's gone through a lot," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "We have a lot of confidence in him, and we know how good of a goalie he is. I can't imagine what's going through his mind at that time and in that circumstance, but I thought he rose to the occasion and played great. He really gave us a chance to win gave us a lot of chances to win.
"I don't know what (Backstrom's) status is, but if it's Josh moving forward, we have a lot of confidence in him, too."
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ST. PAUL, Minn. Josh Harding's first start in the NHL since his return from injured reserve is going to be Game 1 of the playoffs for the Minnesota Wild.
Minnesota's starting goaltender, Niklas Backstrom, was injured in pregame warmups Tuesday. Backstrom, who tied for the league lead with 24 wins, started the final 15 games this season for the Wild and 31 of the last 33...
Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom tied for the NHL lead with 24 regular-season wins, but he wasn’t in net for the Wild’s playoff opener against the top-seeded Blackhawks on Tuesday.
That duty fell to seldom-used backup Josh Harding, who became the only goaltender on the Minnesota roster after Backstrom went down with an injury during warmups.
The Wild’s third-string goalie...
The Minnesota Wild have summoned goalie Darcy Kuemper from the minors. Their number one goalie, Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower body injury during warmups. If Backstrom misses any time, Darcy will step-in to backup Josh Harding during the series vs Chicago.
The post Minnesota Wild Summon Goalie Darcy Kuemper appeared first on FFLockerRoom | NFL - MLB News | Fantasy Sports...
ST. PAUL, Minn. Even as big underdogs, the Minnesota Wild had plenty of chances to steal Game 1 on Tuesday in Chicago. The eighth-seeded Wild know that, and the Blackhawks know that, too.
Yet for as many golden opportunities as Minnesota had in the opening game of the playoffs, the Wild flew home down 1-0 in the best-of-seven series. As difficult as the loss was to swallow, Minnesota...
Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and defenseman Clayton Stoner did not practice on Thursday, increasing the possibility they will be unavailable for Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Wild forward Jason Pominville also missed Thursday's practice and will not travel to Chicago for Friday's game. He missed Game 1.
Coach Mike Yeo...
Minnesota Wild right wing Jason Pominville will sit out Tuesday's playoff opener against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Pominville missed the last two games of the regular season after he was elbowed in the chin by Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings. He practiced Monday but coach Mike Yeo says he's ''not quite ready.''
Yeo says the Wild have to ''look...
The Minnesota Wild have summoned goalie Darcy Kuemper from the minors. He fills in as insurance as Niklas Backstrom has a lower-body injury.
The post Minnesota Wild Summon Darcy Kuemper From Minors appeared first on FFLockerRoom | NFL - MLB News | Fantasy Sports Advice | Sports Talk.
ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild are still saying goalie Niklas Backstrom and defenseman Clayton Stoner are day-to-day with injuries, but head coach Mike Yeo said Thursday that both players will make the trip to Chicago for Friday's playoff game. Neither took part in Thursday's practice at Xcel Energy Center.
Not making the trip, however, is forward Jason Pominville,...
They don't call it the State of Hockey for nothing. Minnesotans take their pond sport very seriously, as FOX Sports North Girl Jenny's feature for Busted Coverage's "FOX Sports Girl of the Week" quickly made clear.
Run by the larger community Yardbarker, Busted Coverage is a blog that describes themselves as a "combination of the best sports stories, the...
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild. It’s a matchup that was under most people’s playoff radar; until last night. A majority of pundits had the Chicago
Blackhawks sweeping the Wild. Regardless, this will be an interesting series. The Blackhawks came out flat against a Minnesota Wild team that was at the top of their game in game 1 of the playoff series Tuesday night.
Minnesota Wild (0-1)
1.00 Goals For (10th)
2.00 Goals Against (12th)
0% Power Play (16th)
66.7% Penalty Kill (9th)
Top 2 Scorers:
1. #22 Cal Clutterbuck ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
2. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 0G 1A = 1pt
3 players tied with 2 PIM's (Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Tom Gilbert)
#20 Ryan Suter ~ 41:08
The shortened, 48-game NHL regular season is over and the conference seeds and matchups are set. It’s time for some playoff hockey.
Here in the Midwest, we’re lucky to see two of our own teams face off in the first round. The No. 1 seed Chicago Blackhawks and the No. 8 seed Minnesota Wild played each other three times in the regular season with Chicago winning two out of the...
We have already covered the Chicago Blackhawks, now it’s time to check out their first round opponent. The Minnesota Wild are being represented by the crew at HockeyWilderness.com. Make sure to follow them as well on Twitter @HockeyWilderness.
They opened the questions to everyone at the site, so there will be multiple answers for each question.
1. The Minnesota Wild needed...
Tuesdays NHL first round playoff game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks was the highest-rated Wild telecast ever on FOX Sports North. The Wilds match-up vs. the Chicago Blackhawks generated a 10.13 household rating in the Minneapolis St. Paul DMA, according to Nielsen Media Research.
That tops the previous record of 7.65 set earlier this season on Saturday, January...
Wild (26-19-3) 8th vs. Blackhawks (36-7-5)1st
Game 1: at Chicago Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7:00 PM CT, CBC, FSN, NBCSN
Game 2: at Chicago Friday, May 3, 2013 8:30 PM CT, CBC, FSN, NBCSN
Game 3: at Minnesota Sunday May 5, 2013 2:00 PM CT, CBC, NBC
Game 4: at Minnesota Tuesday, April 30, 2013 May 7, 8:30 PM CT, CBC, FSN, NBCSN
GAME 5: at Chicago Thursday May 9, 2013...