Somewhere along the line, Josh Harding kicked the wrong hockey god's cat. The guy has never, ever got a break when he needed one. He has the talent to be a number one goalie, but seems to struggle when thrust into that role. He also can't stay healthy for anything, which really is too bad. With Niklas Backstrom falling more andmore often to injury, Harding had his chance this season to take the job.
This offseason will be an interesting one for Harding. Chuck Fletcher has mentioned he would not mind bringing Harding back for another season. Yet, there sits Matt Hackett, ready to go. Maybe this is the season Harding gets a crack at something.
For now, he needs some grades.
|2011 - Josh Harding||34||1855||13||12||81||2.62||981||900||.917||2|
Nathan- He fucking cried.
Bryan- I've always been on Harding's side. He always showed he could play, but after this year, it seems like he might have backup QB syndrome. He just flat out falls apart when the pressure of the big chair gets to him. And this is Minnesota, where the pressure on the team is so low it barely registers. His mental strength seems to be slipping. He's a good guy, big helper of DTBL. Tough to criticize him at all, and I hope he finds a home for next season.
Jesse- Health and consistency. Harding didn't really demonstrate either. He could be untouchable at times, and he could wilt under pressure. The 4 straight wins (starting with 2 over Detroit) had fans taking notice for all the right reasons. The meltdown against Nashville and the mental fragility afterwards put Harding back on the map for the wrong reasons. He started the season with a strong audition for a starting gig, and he finished the season looking beaten up. He started to right the ship in late March, but has he shown enough to prove to a GM that he can start 60+ for a team? Maybe Fletcher brings him back, but having Hackett and Kuemper fight for starts in Houston is just pointless.
Grade - C-