Wild's Backstrom finding his form in goal

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2012 - 3:15 AM
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wildforlifeFeb. 22, 1211:35 PM

Harding will be gone after this year. Backstrom is the better overall goaltender (not by much though) and his contract is virtually impossible to trade away.

strib1991Feb. 23, 12 5:48 AM

Still needs to stop pucks in the shootouts.

nshockeyFeb. 23, 12 6:09 AM

I was in section 125 just to Backstrom's left in the 1st and 3rd periods. I noticed the same thing- Backstrom seemed to be a step ahead in his always good positioning. Another thing, the couple times he needed help it was there. That was an awesome performance, and you could really appreciate it from up close.

hockeyfoxFeb. 23, 12 8:49 AM

Virtually Impossible, but NOT impossible. Trade Backs now if you can as his market value should be rising. If we could dump his salary, move Harding to #1, maybe we have a shot at Parise or some other high end free agent forward. Scoring has been the problem...as always. Doing nothing and replacing 3rd and 4th liners with other 3rd and 4th liners was Doug Risebrough's MO. Fletcher needs to break out of that.

uffda57Feb. 23, 12 8:57 AM

Trading Backstrom and making Harding #1 is an excellent strategy...if your goal is to get the #1 draft pick this year and every year thereafter until you wise up and trade him. He has never shown the ability to play the minutes necessary for a #1, is injury-prone, and to re-sign him, you are probably talking about tossing at least $3 mill down the tubes. Add to that the fact that Backstrom is not only the better goaltender, and his $6 mill salary makes a trade extremely difficult, and you can see it is Harding that will be taking the bus out of town soon. Matt Hackett will be #2 next year.

genericloginFeb. 23, 12 9:49 AM

Wild skated at St Thomas Academy? Maybe they too should sandbag down to single A hockey for guaranteed success like STA?

thatguy22Feb. 23, 1210:25 AM

genericlogin- They practice at STA quite often. Pretty much whenever there is an event at the X that causes the Ice to be covered or removed.

guitarmnFeb. 23, 1212:00 PM

Backstrom does a great job, but to have to face 48 shots is a disgrace. Stop giving up so many!

uffda57Feb. 23, 1212:19 PM

I agree, there is no reason a team should give up 48 shots. I don't care who the goaltender is, when you give up that many and still get a shutout, that is nothing short of a miracle. At the start of the season, when the Wild was winning everything in sight, a lot had to do with the defense blocking lots of shots, allowing mostly harmless shots from outside, and excellent performances from every goaltender who played. The offense was finding ways to score, even if it was only a couple of goals a game, and practically everyone was occasionally putting one in the net. Fast forward to the Wild we've been seeing the last two months, and you'll find that every one of those elements has disappeared. You simply aren't going to win very many games if you are depending on the goaltender to pitch a shutout every night.

goalieguruFeb. 23, 12 2:26 PM

I hear, get more offense/forwards, stop allowing sow many shots, he needs to stop the puck in shootouts. More offense isn't the problem with the Wild in terms of offensive personnel. I've said it before and I'll say it again.......you generate more offense with this team by improving the defensive corps with a focus on getting speed and superlative stick skills - PERIOD. As a defensive unit, these guys don't possess either of those attributes at an elite level, that's why this team get's outshot and can't score more goals. They lead the NHL in wins while getting outshot - that means that forwards are making the most of their chances - so there isn't an issue with the talent up front. YES, any team could always use more, but it's not the priority for this squad. Forget about trading Backstrom. 1. Contract situation, 2. he's one of the best in the NHL. His success comes from his technique and his level head. That's a rare combination in this league. As far as shootouts are concerned, you shouldn't need to plan for being in many of them. If you do, you have bigger fish to fry.

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