The Minnesota Wild went through protracted negotiations with Darcy Kuemper this offseason. If the beginning of his 2014-15 campaign is any indication, maybe the Wild should have pushed for a long-term deal.
Kuemper, 24, stopped all 26 of the Arizona Coyotes shots on Thursday to guide Minnesota to a 2-0 win. He now has three shutouts in just four starts and has stopped 96 of the 98 shots he’s faced so far in 2014-15.
This hot start produces quite the ridiculous stat line: 3-1-0, .980 save percentage and a .50 GAA.
Of course, there are some catches. He’s only faced 30 shots once (his second shutout of the Colorado Avalanche) and his three wins came against ailing Arizona and the Avs. He fell to the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 17, although Corey Perry scored one of those tallies, so it’s not that much of a downer.
Here’s a fun fact from the NHL that does a great job of showing how rare Kuemper’s accomplishment is while also warning against getting too excited about small sample size successes:
Pascal Leclaire hasn’t seen NHL action since the 2010-11 season, but he did make an estimated $13.5 million before things dried up.