Usually an injury to Josh Harding would just mean that the Minnesota Wild would need to recall a netminder from the AHL to backup Niklas Backstrom. That hasn’t been the case so far in the 2013-14 NHL season though, as Harding has seized the No. 1 goaltender role for the Wild.
So when he was forced to miss a scheduled start against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday because of an injury he sustained during warm ups, it created a bit of tension for Minnesota. The goalie apparently was dealing with some sort of lower-body injury, but the nature and severity of the impairment was not known.
NHL.com is reporting that an MRI came back normal yesterday. As per the league’s official site:
An MRI given to Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding (lower body) on Sunday came back normal. Harding will be reevaluated and if he believes he can handle pain, the hope is he will meet the team to back up Niklas Backstrom on Monday against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.
This is good news for the Wild, as Harding has been among the top netminders in the NHL so far this year. He’s near the top of every meaningful goaltending category and has been the driving force behind Minnesota’s surge in the standings over the last month.