Tag: Ilya Bryzgalov


Wild sign 43-year-old emergency goalie


Once again, Rob Laurie gets the call.

The Anaheim-based netminder, who’s already filled in as an emergency goalie for the Ducks and Canucks, will suit up for the Wild tonight in place of the injured Darcy Kuemper, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

Kuemper, who wasn’t scheduled to start tonight — Ilya Bryzgalov’s in goal — was hurt during the morning skate and later ruled out of action. That forced the Wild to sign the 43-year-old Laurie, a longtime ECHL netminder that played one game in the American League for Adirondack during the 1995-96 campaign.

Unbelievably, Kuemper is the third Wild goalie to fall to injury this season. Niklas Backstrom was lost for the season after undergoing surgery on a “core muscle injury,” and Josh Harding has been sidelined after undergoing a midseason change in his multiple sclerosis treatment protocol.

In a related story, this isn’t the first time the Wild have been forced to sign an, ahem, experienced emergency netminder. Minnesota previously signed 51-year-old Paul Deutsch to an Amateur Tryout Contract during the 2011-12 campaign to serve in a similar capacity.





Goalie nods: Bryzgalov back in for Wild, Brodeur goes for Devils


News and notes from around the crease…

Minnesota sticks with Bryz

Ilya Bryzgalov will make his second straight start for the Wild tonight, putting Darcy Kuemper in a back-up role once again.

Bryzgalov earned tonight’s start on the strength of 23 saves in a big 3-1 win in Phoenix over the weekend. The victory came after Kuemper struggled in consecutive losses to Vancouver at St. Louis — following the Blues loss, Wild head coach Mike Yeo said he felt bad for Kuemper, noting the club put the 23-year-old in a difficult spot by handing him the No. 1 gig after he entered the year as the No. 3 behind Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.

Bryzgalov and the Wild will face the Kings tonight, and Jonathan Quick will get the start for L.A.

Devils roll with Marty

Desperate to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive, New Jersey will give Martin Brodeur the nod tonight against Florida.

Brodeur has been splitting games with Cory Schneider for the last two weeks — on Saturday, Schneider was in goal for a 2-1 shootout loss to the Islanders, marking the 10th time the Devils have lost in 10 shootouts this season. As a result, the Devils head into tonight’s game five points back of Columbus for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

For Florida, Dan Ellis will get the nod again as Roberto Luongo remains sidelined after getting run over by Carolina’s Radek Dvorak last week.


‘Canes at Sens: Craig Anderson for Ottawa; Cam Ward likely for Carolina.

Jets at Ducks: Frederik Andersen for Anaheim; Ondrej Pavelec likely for Winnipeg.

Get your game notes: Wild at Kings

Jonathan Quick,  Martin Jones

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Los Angeles Kings hosting the Minnesota Wild starting at 10 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Kings enter tonight’s game on a six-game win streak. With one game to play this month, they have already set club records for most wins (11) and points (22) in the month of March. Leading the way have been the usual (goaltender Jonathan Quick, 9-2-0, 1.89 GAA, .924 save%, one shutout) and somewhat unusual (defenseman Alec Martinez, a team-high six goals) suspects.

• On Mar. 25, the Kings tied a franchise record with eight straight wins away from Staples Center. (They established that mark during the 1974-75 season.) They could set a new mark on Apr. 3 at San Jose.

• Kings winger Marian Gaborik, who has three goals and five assists in 12 games with Los Angeles since his acquisition via trade from Columbus on Mar. 5, is among the Wild’s career leaders in most major offensive categories. Gaborik was the franchise’s all-time leading scorer until Mar. 18, when Wild center and captain Mikko Koivu passed him.

• The Wild’s assists leader (with 38 in 58 games), Koivu enters tonight’s game on a five-game point streak (one goal, six assists). Koivu leads all NHL players in assists (nine in seven games) since March 18. He also has 22 career points (four goals, 18 assists) in 26 games vs. Los Angeles.

• Kings center Anze Kopitar (197 career NHL goals), who led Slovenia to the quarterfinals in the country’s first-ever Olympic men’s hockey tournament last month, needs three goals to become the eighth player in Kings history to score 200 goals for the franchise. L.A. winger and captain Dustin Brown is right behind Kopitar, with 195 goals.

• The Kings have had three different goaltenders post three or more shutouts this season: Quick – 5 (T-2nd in the NHL); Martin Jones and Ben Scrivens (now with Edmonton) – 3 apiece. The only other team in NHL history with three goaltenders with three or more blank sheets in a season was the 2003-04 Calgary Flames: Miikka Kiprusoff – 4; Jamie McLennan (later traded to the N.Y. Rangers) and Roman Turek – 3 apiece. Elias Sports Bureau

• In five starts (six appearances) with the Wild this season, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is 3-0-2 with a 1.94 GAA, .921 save% and one shutout. Bryzgalov is the fourth goalie to earn a win with the Wild this season, following Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper. Since Jan. 27, he has not lost a game in regulation, going 5-0-4 with Edmonton and Minnesota. The Russian netminder has 14 career wins vs. Los Angeles, more than vs. any other NHL team (14-7-4, 2.32 GAA, .919 save%, two shutouts).

• Wild defenseman Ryan Suter has played more than 30 minutes in 35 of his team’s 74 games this season. The only other NHL players who have played more than 30 minutes in more than 10 games are Florida’s Brian Campbell (14 games) and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson (11 games).

• Four of the last six meetings between the Wild and Kings have gone to a shootout. Minnesota won three of those shootouts, including the most recent one, on Jan. 7 at Staples Center.

Should Minnesota keep starting Kuemper?

Darcy Kuemper

Heading into this year, Darcy Kuemper was the No. 3 goalie in the Minnesota organization, parked firmly behind Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding in AHL Iowa.

Today, he’s the club’s No. 1 — and feeling the pressure that comes along with it.

Kuemper suffered his second poor outing in a row in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to St. Louis, which came 24 hours after he was hooked in favor of Ilya Bryzgalov for allowing three goals on 12 shots against Vancouver. Suddenly, the Wild — who were in good shape for the first wild card berth in the West — are just one point up on eighth-place Phoenix, and six up on ninth-place Dallas.

“I’ll be honest, I feel bad for [Kuemper]. I do,” head coach Mike Yeo told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “This is a guy, we wouldn’t even be sitting here in the position that we’re in if he didn’t give us the stretch of hockey that he’s given us.”

On the year, Kuemper’s numbers are solid — 12-8-4, .915 save percentage, 2.43 GAA — but his recent performances have been bad. He’s allowed at least three goals in each of his last four starts, all losses, while posting a ghastly .851 save percentage.

Unsurprisingly, the heat of the playoff chase seems to have gotten to Kuemper. At 23,  he’s got a very limited body of NHL work — just six games last year, 26 this year — and it’s important to remember that two years ago, he was in the ECHL with the Orlando Solar Bears.

The inexperience might be starting to show. On Thursday, Kuemper appeared somewhat flustered after a series of altercations with Blues captain David Backes.

From the Star-Tribune:

[Backes] cross-checked little Jared Spurgeon, crushed little Mikael Granlund and ruthlessly trash-talked goalie Darcy Kuemper from the bench.

Kuemper initiated things with Backes by cross-checking him at the goalmouth, then got in his face.

“That’s where I’ve played a long time,” Backes said. “When I feel disrespected, I’m going to stand my ground and see if there’s any response.”

Backes’ verbal abuse of Kuemper wasn’t done there, either:

The issue Minnesota’s facing now is much more than a question of whether Kuemper or Bryzgalov should start for the rest of this season and the playoffs.

If Kuemper’s the goalie of the future — and by the way people within the Wild organization talk, they believe he is — there has to be some consideration to protecting him, and keeping his confidence from getting shattered.

Goalie nods: Wild go back to Kuemper, Zatkoff in for Pens

Minnesota Wild v Vancouver Canucks

News and notes from around the crease…

Kuemper gets another shot

One night after getting yanked in a loss to Vancouver, Darcy Kuemper will be back in goal for the Wild.

Kuemper will start tonight against St. Louis, looking to rebound for a poor effort in which he allowed three goals on 12 shots against the Canucks before getting pulled in favor of Ilya Bryzgalov.

The 23-year-old Kuemper has been good this year, posting a 12-7-4 record with a .919 save percentage and 2.32 GAA. That said, the pressure will only increase from here on in and it’ll be interesting to see how he responds, especially against the NHL’s top team tonight.

For the Blues, Ryan Miller will get the start in goal.

Pens turn to Zatkoff

It looks to be a battle of the backups tonight in Pittsburgh when the Pens host the Kings.

Jeff Zatkoff is already confirmed as Pittsburgh’s starter tonight — he’ll face the organization that drafted him in 2006 — and it looks as though L.A. will go with Martin Jones.

Zatkoff will play for the first time since stopping 21 shots in a 4-3 OT win over Tampa Bay. Jones hasn’t played since Mar. 15, when he allowed two goals on 20 shots in a loss to the Ducks.


Blackhawks at Bruins: Corey Crawford vs. Tuukka Rask

Coyotes at Devils: Thomas Greiss vs. Martin Brodeur

Habs at Red Wings: Carey Price vs. Jimmy Howard

‘Canes at Panthers: Anton Khudobin vs. Roberto Luongo

Isles at Lightning: Evgeni Nabokov vs. Ben Bishop

Sabres at Preds: Matthew Hackett vs. Carter Hutton

Canucks at Avs: Semyon Varlamov for Colorado; Eddie Lack likely for Vancouver.

Jets at Sharks: Al Montoya vs. Antti Niemi