While incumbent starter Niklas Backstrom expects to return from a knee injury in a matter of days, Harding is one of the NHL’s hottest goalies at the moment.
Through seven games he’s posted a 3-2-1 record with a 1.11 GAA and .948 save percentage, carrying a Wild team that’s only scored five goals in its last four games.
The Wild have a busy week ahead, including a home-and-away series against the defending Cup champs Chicago on Oct. 26 and 28. It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Mike Yeo handles his goalies for those two contests.
Bernier, 25, has come back to earth a bit recently after his white-hot start to the season. He’s lost three of five, including Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Chicago — though Bernier did stop 37 of 40 shots in a game largely dominated by the ‘Hawks.
— Cory Schneider will get his second straight start tonight against Columbus. The Devils’ netminder shut out the Rangers in his last appearance, and will be up against reigning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky this evening. Bobrovsky gets back in the Blue Jackets’ net after Curtis McElhinney starred in Sunday’s win over Vancouver, stopping 37 of 38 shots.
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.
Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching
“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”
“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”
More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.
Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”
“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”
The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.
Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)
You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.