Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild still isn’t healthy enough to play, and that probably doesn’t bother Josh Harding and his teammates right now.
According to TwinCities.com, Backstrom is still fighting uphill against a knee injury that has kept him out of action since early on in the season. Per Chad Graff’s report: “While the Wild have said Niklas Backstrom is healthy enough to play, Backstrom indicated Monday he’s not completely healed from a strained knee he suffered Oct. 8.”
While there was a touch of panic when Backstrom went down against the Nashville Predators, Harding has been remarkable in his relief of the typical starter. He has the second-best GAA in the NHL right now, sporting a ridiculously low 1.11. Minnesota won its first three games with Harding in net, but have since dropped three straight games.
They’ve only scored one goal in each of those losses though, so it’s tough to pin them on Harding. He’ll be back in net against the Preds tonight as the Wild try to get back on track.
Harding to start for #mnwild tonight
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 22, 2013
For Harding to start racking up the wins that he clearly deserves and is playing well enough to earn, the Wild will need to start scoring some goals. The likes of Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu have been far too quiet early on for Minnesota.