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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Backstrom, Harding still on shelf for Wild

By on 1/22/2014 12:39:00 AM

To say that the Minnesota Wild are having goalie issues right now would be an understatement.

Netminder Niklas Backstrom revealed last week that he played a month of last season with a torn core muscle in his groin, a malady that he believes is the impetus for his latest bout with abdominal stiffness that has him on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

Backstrom hasn't played since giving up three goals on 17 shots in an cringe-worthy 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche a week and a half ago, and given the fact that he had been impressive in three straight wins before the Avs loss, it's probably safe to speculate that he's dealing with some lingering effects of the tear, suffered late last season.

He's received another round of cortisone injections on Monday in the effected area, which are just as cringe-worthy, in an effort to try and get back on the ice, which coach Mike Yeo hopes occurs Wednesday.

Top goalie Josh Harding isn't having any better time of it, Yeo telling reporters on Sunday that Harding missed practice as he continues the battle to stabilize the effects of the "minor adjustments" to his treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.  Harding has missed 13 of 15 games since the change in his treatment.

In their stead, Darcy Kuemper has fared well, going 4-2-0 with one shutout while posting workman-like 2.13 goals against average to go along with a .922 save percentage.  He will be backed up temporarily by Johan Gustafsson, recalled from AHL Iowa on Sunday.


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