What an interesting day to be a goalie in the Minnesota Wild system we had yesterday! We all woke up probably operating under the assumption that Josh Harding was going to start the afternoon game against the Winnipeg Jets. When Niklas Backstrom was cleared by doctors to play it was time for Wild prospect Darcy Kuemper to make his way back down to Iowa. Harding to start, Backstrom would backup and Kuemps who is clearly not ready for the NHL going back to Iowa. All is as it should be...
Things did not play out as expected. About 15 minutes before game time Harding pulled up lame. What a sticky wicket the Wild were Thrust in. Now a very cold Niklas Backstrom was thrust into starting as the Wild scrambled to get Kuemper back from the airport.
Backstrom did not look the part of a cold goalie. He is the reason the Wild were able to fight back and get 2 difficult points out of Winnipeg yesterday. He kept the Wild in the game long enough for them to find their legs and comeback not once but twice from one goal deficits and get the win in the 4th round of a shootout off the stick of Charlie Coyle. If you haven't seen the Coyle game winning dangle yet, let us provide it for you in gif form, and it is sick folks!
Smooth kid, very smooth!
Minnesota Wild: Niederreiter starts rally with 'second-chance' goal - TwinCities.com
Nino Niederreiter didn't see much time on the ice in the first couple periods. Things sort of panned out for him in the 3rd though.
Coyle's goal in shootout gives Wild 3-2 victory over Jets | Star Tribune
Backstrom steps in and shows us he still has what it takes. Quite an impressive showing out of the old hand yesterday.
Postgame: Wild 3, Winnipeg 2 (shootout) | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
Rachel Blount does a wonderful job filling in for Russo with a wrap-up of yesterdays action.
Wild report: Darcy Kuemper packs, unpacks and backs up - TwinCities.com
Although he was ultimately not needed, it was a good move not to book the first flight out of dodge.
Michael Russo's Short Takes | Star Tribune
Backstrom steps up in Wild shootout victory at Winnipeg | Star Tribune
This is one of those wins we will look back on, just getting owned for large swaths of the game and still have the perseverance to come back and walk out of Winnipeg with 2 big divisional points.
Minnesota Wild: Keith Ballard done worrying about injuries - TwinCities.com
That's right, Keith Ballard plays for the Wild.
Minnesota Wild: Jason Zucker finds a mentor in Zach Parise - TwinCities.com
Parise is probably not the worst person to look up to.
Off the Trail
Mike Russo's Sunday NHL Insider | Star Tribune
With last year’s lockout feeling like a bad memory, here are some story lines that few could have expected at the quarter pole of this season.
Senators accuse Red Wings of diving ‘like there was water out there’ | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Ah yes, diving. The argument reserved for the Vancouver Canucks is finding it's way East.
Watch Cam Fowler fall off Ducks’ bench, Hampus Lindholm laugh (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Welcome to the Blooper Reel Cam Fowler!
Mikhail Grabovski faces the ‘idiot’, Maple Leafs for first time since buyout | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
I wonder if he was booed ...
GIF: Mikhail Grabovski takes David Clarkson's skate to his face - CBSSports.com
Mikhail Grabovski took a skate to the face while trying to make a diving stick check. He immediately left the game bleeding profusely. The pictures are not pretty.