In what will likely be overlooked in large part, Niklas Backstrom won his 100th game Tuesday night in Toronto. While this is certainly a milestone, and one the vast majority of former goalies never reach, Backstrom is not one to take personal credit while playing a team game. Yet another reason why we are glad he is still here.
Looking back while he looks forward to Tampa on Thursday, we see just how lucky we are to have him around.
The run down is this: 185 game played, 179 of those were starts. He has stood in the goal mouth for 10604 minutes, the equivalent of over seven days straight. He now has 100 wins and 53 losses. Without including tonights game, he has let in 399 goals, made 4711 saves, earned a save % of .922 and 17 shutouts.
Is he Martin Brodeur or Patrick Roy? No, at least not yet. He may never be on par with those guys. They are true greats of the game. Backstrom got a late start, never seeing an NHL game until he was 28. Will a few years be enough to make a huge difference when his career is over? That will only be seen when he hangs up the pads.
Right now, he is the Wild's number one goalie, the first in franchise history. He is signed for the next four years, at a cap hit of $6 million per year. He has a no-trade clause as long as he stays the number one goalie.
In other words, he isn't going anywhere, folks. And I, for one, am perfectly OK with that.
Congrats Nik. Well earned. Here's to 200.