The Minnesota Wild have struggled while Josh Harding needed to spend some time on the sidelines as he adjusted to his new treatment protocol for multiple sclerosis.
The team suffered four straight losses and netminder Niklas Backstrom conceded 17 goals over that span. The Wild need to turn things around and fortunately they have Harding back to help them do just that.
He’ll start in tonight’s match against the New York Islanders, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.
The 29-year-old has spent most of his career serving as a backup, but he’s come out of nowhere to arguably be the league’s top goaltender this season. Among qualified players, he leads the pack with a 1.51 GAA and .939 save percentage in 27 contests.
He won the Masterton Trophy last season for his determination to continue his career after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. With a strong second half to the 2013-14 campaign, he could follow that up with the Vezina Trophy.
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat