Minnesota backup netminder Josh Harding is showing improvement after a recent setback with Multiple Sclerosis, according to Wild GM Chuck Fletcher.
“[He’s] feeling a lot better,” Fletcher told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “Now it’s a question of getting back to strenuous physical activity, then getting back on the ice and seeing from there.
“Doctors are very confident we’ll get to a spot where he’s going to feel very good most days.”
Harding hasn’t appeared in a game for Minnesota since relieving Niklas Backstrom in the third period of a 4-1 loss to the Canucks on Feb. 7.
He was supposed to dress for a game against Vancouver on Feb. 12 but, prior to, informed the club he wasn’t feeling right.
“Just lately been feeling a bit off and we kind of knew this was a possibility,” Harding told NHL.com. “I’m not going to get into too many details about it right now.
“I’m a little off and the decision was made to take this one [game] off and take care of it right now.”
The Wild called up Darcy Kuemper from AHL Houston to play against Vancouver, and proceeded to put Harding on injured reserve.
Harding hasn’t been taken off IR yet, but with Minnesota riding Niklas Backstrom hard in recent weeks — he’s been the goalie of record in 16 of the last 18 games — the team might return Kuemper to Houston and bring up Matt Hackett.
“Darcy’s earned the right to be here and playing very well, but so is Hack and we want to make sure we don’t hurt Darcy’s development [by not playing him],” Fletcher said.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.