Whilst the Minnesota Wild have had trouble scoring, their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild has had no such problem. However, even more impressive has been their goalie, Andrew Hammond.
Signed to the Minnesota Wild this off-season but sent down to the Iowa Wild, Andrew Hammond is out to prove he still has what it takes to perform at NHL level.
Across the first two games of the season, he’s conceded just two goals, whilst facing 49 shots giving him a save percentage of 0.959%.
He ranks highest among all goalies that have seen ice-time in more than one game.
A demotion to the AHL can be seen in two ways; firstly that it’s just that – a demotion. You can sulk, get upset, rest on your laurels and never quite reproduce the level that got you to the NHL in the first place.
Or secondly; you can take it as a kick up the backside and work your socks off to prove that you still belong.
In the case of Andrew Hammond, it’s quite clear that the latter is seemingly the case. He’s been assisted by some very able defensive work though.
The Minnesota Wild coaching staff ought be watching the Iowa Wild. They might be able to pick up some defensive tips, especially given the rate at which shots are making it through to Dubynk, who the Wild are again over-reliant upon.
Whilst the first two games of the season are no indication that Andrew Hammond can repeat this form across a whole year for the Iowa Wild, it does suggest that there are at least one pair of safe hands waiting for a call-up.
Hopefully it continues so Kaapo Kahkonen can learn the ropes from both an experienced and talented goaltending partner.