It appears the search for a possible backup is over for the Minnesota Wild.
Backstrom taken off IR, Kuemper reassigned, #mnwild announce. Backstrom to back up today at the PEG
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) November 23, 2013
I’ve yet to see the official announcement from the team’s website, but that could just be my computer. Anyhow, Backs is back and will hopefully be able to take some of the pressure off Josh Harding’s shoulders.
Now, it should be noted Harding did state at the end of last season that he’d like to play all 82 this year. Obviously, that wouldn’t ever happen, but you get the point–his goal is to be the No. 1 netminder that leads Minnesota to their first ever Stanley Cup title. A start here or there for Backstrom would go a long way in keeping Harding fresh and ready to continue his best season to date.
Backstrom started out the season as the Wild’s starter, but injuries and poor play have limited him to seven games in which he has put together a 1-1-2 record, a 3.30 goals against average and a .874 save percentage. Harding took the reins from there and hasn’t looked back, claiming a spot amongst the league’s elite with a 13-3-2 record, a 1.48 goals against average, a .939 save percentage and two shutouts. In parts of two games, Kuemper would allow six goals on 16 shots in the process of collecting one loss, a 6.10 goals against average and a .625 save percentage.