Harding: ‘There are things that are out of my control’

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Wild goalie Josh Harding met with reporters on Tuesday and gave an update on his health and change in treatment protocol for multiple sclerosis.

“I wasn’t feeling good,” he said, per the Wild website. “If I felt even a little bit like I could play I would’ve. 

“But there are some things that are out of my control, and I thought that we did everything in our control to get back to where we are right now.”

Harding, currently on injured reserve, hasn’t played since Dec. 31 and will miss his seventh consecutive game tonight when the Wild take on the Senators. He declined to get into specifics about his condition and, last week, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said the club wasn’t hiding anything when its Harding update consisted of “he’s just not feeling well.”

“I wish I could tell you more,” Fletcher said, per the Star-Tribune. “We’re not hiding anything here — he just doesn’t feel well and whatever that’s from I can’t say. I can’t speculate, I don’t want to speculate.”

Harding, already placed on IR once this season for a change in MS treatment protocol, was playing at a Vezina-caliber level for the first half of the season, posting outrageous numbers ( 18-7-2, 1.66 GAA, .933 save percentage) and emerging as a big reason why Minnesota had a 20-11-5 mark after beating Vancouver on Dec. 17.

Third-stringer Darcy Kuemper, fresh off a shutout win over Nashville, will get his second straight start tonight against the Sens. Harding did participate fully in today’s practice, but neither he nor the club provided a timetable for return.

“I’ve been working out hard with our strength coach,” Harding explained. “It’s a matter of getting the reps in and getting back to find a rhythm.”

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…