Some encouraging news out of Minnesota on Friday regarding the health of Josh Harding — the goalie was at Xcel Energy Center and spoke with head coach Mike Yeo about his recovery from a setback with Multiple Sclerosis.
“I had a brief conversation with him,” Yeo told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “And he was feeling very good. His word, actually, was great. And even just looking at him, I think he looks great.
“So we’ll talk some more about what the plan is going forward.”
Harding has missed the last 19 games after informing the organization of some complications regarding his MS, which he was diagnosed with last fall. He hasn’t appeared in a game for Minnesota since relieving Niklas Backstrom in a 4-1 loss to Vancouver on Feb. 7.
Harding was supposed to dress for a game against the Canucks 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,” he 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.
Two weeks ago, Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher expressed optimism about Harding’s recovery.
“[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.”
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: