The Minnesota Wild will be without arguably their most important player this season for the foreseeable future.
Marc-Andre Fleury was absent from practice on Wednesday morning and after the session, head coach Dean Evason let it be known that the Wild netminder has an upper-body injury and will be evaluated later in the day.
Big news from #mnwild practice, but Marc-Andre Fleury has an upper body injury and is being evaluated today. Evason doesn’t know how long he’ll be out. Wild will recall a goalie from Iowa.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) November 16, 2022
There has been no obvious injury-causing moment in the last few games, but these things can be weird.
Due to Fleury being out and a substantial homestand incoming, the Wild will also be recalling a goalie from AHL Iowa, but have not officially announced what goaltender it will be. Of course, everyone wants to immediately jump to top prospect Jesper Wallstedt being the guy to come to St. Paul, but he is just coming back from a minor injury himself and could use the crease in Des Moines. Most likely, it will be depth veteran goaltender Zane McIntyre to go to the big city.
After starting off the season a little rough, Fleury has turned it around and then some. In his last eight games, the 37-year-old goaltender has earned a 5-3-0 record with a .937 save percentage, and a 1.75 goals against average. Basically, he’s been one of the best goaltenders in the entire NHL the last couple of weeks, and now the Wild will be without him for their toughest slate of games.
If you read this website enough, you can skip this part, but the Wild are hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Winnipeg Jets, and the Toronto Maple Leafs for their next four games and that is a hefty workload for even the best of goaltending tandems. Now, it is up to decent-but-young Filip Gustavsson and most likely McIntyre to handle some of the most offensively gifted players on the planet. Fun!
There can be some magic created in the crease with unlikely goaltending tandems, but also, you can’t really predict that either. Let’s just hope that this injury isn’t too long.
Minnesota is currently sitting with a 7-7-2 record just one spot out of the final wild card spot.