Showing posts with label Josh Harding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Josh Harding. Show all posts

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mike Yeo: Wild starting job in goal wide open



As we make our way towards the NHL season there's more hockey news starting to emerge. The Wild are going to have a stable of goalies this season. According to Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo, the position is wide open.
NHL Insider -- The Minnesota Wild will enter training camp next month with three goaltenders, Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper, competing for the starting job. Wild coach Mike Yeo said each will have a chance to win the No. 1 job.

"I have to say we're kind of open right now, to be honest with you," Yeo told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune on Wednesday during an appearance at the Minnesota State Fair. "We're going to have some scrimmages … but we're going to have to pretty quickly determine who we want to give a greater workload to after that. That's going to be a good challenge."
Obviously, they Wild are going to  need to sign Darcy Kuemper who remains an unsigned restricted free agent. There's also many questions about Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding's health. Neither has been able to play a full season the last two years.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Darcy Kuemper's new goalie mask



Here's the new goalie mask that Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper will wear for the 2014-15 season.  Now, let's hope the Wild can get the young goalie locked into a new contract.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Minnesota Wild: Questons at the goaltending position



The Minnesota Wild's goaltending situation has been a subject of discussion.
John Kreiser - NHL.com -- Who's the goalie? -- Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding, Darcy Kuemper, Ilya Bryzgalov and John Curry (who won his lone late-season start) all had at least one victory in a season of tumult for Minnesota goaltenders . Harding was 18-7-3 with an NHL-best 1.65 goals-against average, but he didn't play after Dec. 31 because of the effects of his battle with multiple sclerosis. Backstrom struggled all season and played a total of 22:25 after Jan. 11 before season-ending abdominal surgery. Minor-league call-up Kuemper (12-8-4, 2.43 GAA) and Bryzgalov (7-1-3, 2.12 GAA), acquired in a trade on March 4, got the Wild to the playoffs.

The question now is who fits where this season. Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo said they are content to go into training camp without a designated starter and see what happens in a competition between Backstrom, Harding and Kuemper (Bryzgalov remains a free agent).

"We have three guys who are quality goaltenders, three guys who at points in the season have been our starting goaltender and played very good hockey," Yeo told NHL.com. "We're expecting some good competition in camp."
From ESPN's Katie Strang's Chat on ESPN...
Michael (Minnesota)

If you were Chuck Fletcher, what would you do with your goalie situation? Are you tempted to sign Brodeur?

Katie Strang (1:05 PM)

If I were Chuck Fletcher I'd be extremely concerned about my goaltending situation. I know he said publicly that there will be training camp competition with Harding, Backstrom and Kuemper but I wouldn't feel too confident with that. That's why, since the trade deadline, many assumed Brodeur would be a great fit there. His sons also play at famed hockey prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Fairbault, MN. Makes a lot of sense. But I think Brodeur is holding out for potentially an injury situation that opens a spot up.
I think if there’s one question going into the 2014-15 season, it’s the Minnesota Wild’s goaltending situation. Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding’s health issues are well documented. Darcy Kuemper has yet to sign a contract. I am not so sure that the Wild want to add Martin Brodeur to the mix.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wild Roster Moves Leave Promising Look to Upcoming Season

Well Wild fans, you all got your wish, and at a discounted price at that. Thomas Vanek has come "home" for the next three seasons to play with the Minnesota Wild. Although Vanek was the only real big splash the Wild made in the off-season thus far, they are working on resigning much of their young talent by the start of the upcoming season.

However, with new signings come people losing a spot on the roster. Among the losses are Dany Heatley, much to the joy of the Wild fans, and Clayton Stoner both going to the Anaheim Ducks. Heatley was just a thorn in the Minnesota Wild's salary cap and with him gone a lot of room opened up. With Stoner, however, the wild lose 2/3 of the grit they had in the line-up, the other third going to Matt Cooke.

If there is a road block in the upcoming season for the Wild, I think this is the spot to have it. Yes, they will have guys who like to hit some, like Matt Dumba and Keith Ballard, but there won't be that one guy who will drop the gloves when the team needs a kick start or protection from an opposing teams enforcer. If push came to shove, I'm sure Ballard or Brodziak would drop the gloves if absolutely needed, but I think it's still not enough.

The other big question is with the goaltending. People keep asking me why we didn't buy out Backstrom's contract, but due to him being injured at the end of the season, by NHL rule, they were not allowed to. So Backstrom is here to stay, for now. Now Josh Harding. He was having a Veznia Trophy type first half until he was sidelined by a change to his MS medications and didn't play for the rest of the season. Harding is expected to be in training camp come September and is expected to be on the opening day roster come October barring any setbacks. Finally, we have rookie sensation,
Darcy Kuemper and Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryz is not getting signed, as I'm sure much of you probably figured out after the season was over. As for Kuemper, he is still an unsigned restricted free agent and looking like he might be going into arbitration to come to terms on a new contract with the Wild. So who is going to be number one on opening night? I'd put money on Josh Harding with Kuemper as his back-up. Backstrom is the thrid goalie on roster, but remains a healthy scratch.

Now, the rest of the roster. With the additions made, and with who is returning for the upcoming season, I think that the Wild will have one of the most feared rosters in the NHL. All four forward lines have speed and the potential to score, especially with a healthy Zucker, and a returning Fontaine to solidify an already potent roster of wingers. Up the middle of the ice Minnesota still has the three Finish centers, Captain Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, and rookie sensation Erik Haula. I'd say that those three have a solidified roster spot this season, but as for the fourth center who knows. You have to start with the veteran Kyle Brodziak, but if his game starts to slip in his fourth line role, its still nice to have a couple of options. Recently signed Jordan Schroeder would likely be a good fit on the fourth line as well, and probably is the odd man out as of right now, but you can always slide Charlie Coyle to the center spot and call up another recent signing in Brett Sutter to play on the wing.

The defensive core will be a little easier to keep track of this upcoming season. Your top line will still be Brodin and Suter. Spurgeon likely plays with Scandella and Ballard likely plays with the young Matt Dumba to start the season
. After that, there is Jonathan Blum waiting for his chance to slide back into the line-up and another former Golden Gopher signing, Stu Bickel, waiting right after him. I don't see much change in how things operated back here from last season, but I would like to see a little less of the load put on Suter's shoulders. Will it happen? Probably not, but if he gets cut to around 25 minutes per game, I think he could produce as well as Shea Webber, or Duncan Keith.

Here is how the opening day line-up will look like in my opinion:

Parise-Granlund-Pominville
Vanek-Koivu-Coyle
Cooke-Haula-Niederreiter
Zucker-Brodziak-Fontaine

Suter-Brodin
Scandella-Spurgeon
Ballard-Dumba

Harding
Kuemper

Scratches:
Almond, Backstrom, Sutter, Blum, Bickel, Schroder, and Veilleux

This is an opening day line-up, I think, can be rivaled to any line-up in the entire NHL. I think this is the year that the Minnesota Wild are finally considered as one of the elite teams in the NHL, provided that they stay healthy. This season is looking very promising for the boys in red and green, and could be one Minnesotans have been waiting for for a very long time.

Wild still trying to re-sign Kuemper



The Minnesota Wild are having a tough time getting their top goalie prospect signed. Eventually, he's going to have to sing, because he's a restricted free agent. I don't think the Wild want this to drag out  much longer.
Michael Russo, Star Tribune --- A path toward a possible arbitration date would have at least guaranteed a settlement on a one- or two-year contract and would have assured that Kuemper would be signed by the commencement of camp Sept. 18. Now, a holdout — or at least the threat of one — is a possibility.

“Darcy has great potential and played very well in stretches for us [last] season, but at the end of the day I think he’s played around 30 games in the NHL,” Fletcher said. “Usually this isn’t the time to fight for the big contract. We feel Darcy right now is trying to establish himself in the league, and once he does that it’ll be a little simpler to come up with terms.

“Our focus right now is on getting good deals with both [Kuemper and Niederreiter]. If we can get the right deal for the player and for the team, then it’ll give us a chance to be competitive. If we spend too much money on players before they’re ready to get the money they feel they deserve, it impacts a lot of other things down the road. If we can get a deal done tomorrow, great. If it takes even into training camp, it’s really not a big deal. We’ve got great depth, we got lots of players. We’re going to have to do what’s right financially to keep this thing going forward.”

Kuemper, 24, went 12-8-4 last season with a 2.43 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. He came to the Wild’s rescue when goalies Niklas Backstrom (abdominal injury) and Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) were sidelined. Kuemper’s camp, which battled the Wild three years ago before Kuemper signed his entry-level contract, appears to feel it has leverage because the Wild again plans to rely on Backstrom and Harding to be healthy next season.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Josh Harding should be in training camp



This story came out this past weekend, I think it’s a subject that’s worth some discussion. Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding was on fire on December 31, 2013, and then he was finished for the season due to symptoms from his Multiple Sclerosis.
NHL.com -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding is expected to be healthy and ready to play in time for training camp, general manager Chuck Fletcher said Friday.

Harding left the Wild on Dec. 31 to deal with symptoms related to his multiple sclerosis. Before his illness forced him from the lineup, Harding was enjoying a breakout season, going 18-7-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. After missing several weeks, Harding skated with the Wild during the Stanley Cup Playoffs but never made it back into the lineup before Minnesota was eliminated in the Western Conference Second Round.

"I think his battles are well chronicled and well known. I think he's feeling well at this point in time," Fletcher said. "The goal for him is, much like last summer, to build up and get to a point where he'll be able to come into training camp and play well. There's been nothing that I've heard of to lead me to not believe that to be the case."
Harding had All-Star numbers when he was playing. I also think if the Wild had Harding or Darcy Kuemper against the Blackhawks, the Wild might have advanced to the third round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The biggest question surrounding the Wild is what they’re going to do with the goaltending position. During the regular season, the Wild used five goalies. Four goalies played 12 or more games. Harding and Kuemper were the most consistent. Both goalies played over 25 games, and had save percentages of .915 or better with a winning percentage of at least (.580).

One goalie I would like to see the Wild part ways with is the overpaid Niklas Backstrom, the guy was wildly inconsistent last year and has been hurt on and off the last few seasons. The Wild are on the hook for $3,416,667 a year for the two seasons. That’s too much money for a goalie that posted a (5-11-2 record, a 3.02 GAA and a .899 save percentage).

Monday, May 05, 2014

Trib: Leave the hockey coverage to Russo



This was in yesterday's newspaper. Jim Souhan has this goody...
Jim Souhan, Star Tribune --- By now you should be stuffed to the gills with facts and quotes. So let's take a shot at a wild Wild prediction:

I see Josh Harding playing today. And if not today, then someday soon.

Mike Yeo has not said Harding will play. He probably doesn't want to put any more thoughts in Ilya Bryzgalov's overflowing cranium. But it is always instructive to judge people not by what they say but by what they do.

Here's what they did: Shipping Harding's equipment to him in Chicago and had him practice after not doing either of those things in Colorado.

In other words, Harding is capable of playing. If Bryzgalov is lousy again today, I don't know why the Wild wouldn't give Harding a shot today or in Game 3.
If you read beat writer Michael Russo, and most Wild fans do on a regular basis you would have seen this.
On Harding skating, Yeo said, “Just more than anything else, let's just get him on the ice. This is an extreme longshot to think he would have a chance to play in this series. Get him on the ice and get him back to being part of the group and helping out a little bit with practice. Obviously this time of year, the goalie playing a lot of games isn't going to see a lot of time in practice. It's nice to have three goalies.

“For me I'm not even considering it right now. If there's an absolute emergency or there's a desperate situation we find ourselves in we'll be prepared for that. We're not getting him on the ice to get ready to play a game, let's put it that way.”
And this one from Russo as well.
One adjustment Yeo won’t make is in goal. Darcy Kuemper is injured, so Ilya Bryzgalov, 1-5 in his past six starts dating to the regular season, must remain the man between the pipes.
I haven't been a fan of Bryz the last six games that he played in. It's like he's reverted back to the Philly Bryz that couldn't stop a beach ball. While a couple of the goals against have been his fault, many of the Blackhawks goals have been a result of good hockey players making great plays. Also, defensive support from his teammates has been poor as well. This includes the forward position, too. A lot of defensive break down have been a result of forwards not getting the puck deep and turning the puck over in their own end. That will bury a hockey players every time.  The Wild as a team, need to be better on pucks, in all three zones.

Just for the record, Chad Graff from the Pioneer Press is very good as well.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Minnesota Wild: Soldier's Surprise at the Xcel



I thought this was a nice touch.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Possible Wild Jersey?



God I hope not, this would be one ugly Minnesota Wild jersey.
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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Top-eight teams in the NHL


Check out the top-eight teams in the NHL so far. The Minnesota Wild are ranked sixth right now. The Boston Bruins have the best goals against, before tonight's game. Top-seven teams are western teams.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Amazing save by Josh Harding: Avoidance of the subject


You should never get to high or too low. Josh Harding is a perfect example of this. Last year, Harding was diagnosed with M.S. and ended up missing most of the season. He came back and played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.  Now, this year, he's the Minnesota Wild starter. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Harding could be an All-Star.
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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Minnesota Wild: Parise Leads the Wild past the Flames with two goals



Former Fighting Sioux Forward Zach Parise is having a good season with the Minnesota Wild. Tonight he was on fire as he led the Minnesota Wild past the Calgary Flames when he scored (2g-1a—3pts). On the season, Parise has (8g-6a—14pts) in 16 games. His line mate Mikko Koivu also had (1g-2a—3pts) as well.


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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Wild Hockey: Eric Nystrom Shootout goal sinks Wild



This was the game winning goal from last night's Wild game against the Predators. Former Michigan Wolverine Eric Nystrom scores on the penalty shot. Personally, I thought this was a weak call, sure it was a penalty, but I am not sure if it was worthy of a penalty shot. Oh well, that's how the game goes sometimes. Wild head coach Mike Yeo wasn't happy about a few of the calls last night, either.

"That 5-on-3 was extremely frustrating for me," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "I don't want to get into complaining about calls or anything like that, but I thought that was very difficult and -- bang-bang -- two pucks go in the net right away. That was tough, too. That's what it comes down to right now for us to get a win. We need a play here or there. It could be a faceoff, it could be a blocked shot, it could be a save -- obviously, a goal. It's a matter of just finding a way to win."
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday at the Links: Hockey is on my Mind





Looks like former UMD Bulldog forward Justin Fontaine has made the Minnesota Wild. Former DU Pioneer Jason Zucker has been sent to the Iowa Wild.  With the injury to Mike Rupp, it looks like Fontaine will be used as a fourth line forward for now.

Puck Daddy Takes a look at Josh Harding's goalie mask, it's pretty sweet.



A few things that came out of the WCHA Media Teleconference this past Wednesday. The WCHA and the rest of the NCAA is going to focus on the obstruction and checking from behind calls. I know, I know, we have heard this all before right. We will soon see if they can execute it correctly.



The Calgary Flames have acquired former Boston Bruins and DU Pioneer forward Jumbo Joe Colborne. To be honest with you, Joe could have used a few more years in college instead of bolting early for the professional ranks.






I guess the Minnesota Wild will be giving Justine Fontaine a look after all, I wrote this article earlier this summer and while I am not ready to be the Amazing Carnac, I do think that Fontaine is a good option. Last season during their brief playoff run, the Wild's fourth line looked very slow and now they have added some speed on that forth line. This is the Wild's current fourth line as of today. Mitchell-Konopka-Fontaine...

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Friday, July 05, 2013

The Wild make some Wild moves (RW77) - UPDATED

Alternate logo since 2000.
Alternate logo since 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Free Agency has started and with it comes some interesting moves.

First, the Wild traded away Devon Setoguchi for a 2nd round pick, but that's a "who cares" kindof trade.  The big news?

THE CHEAPEST HACK IN THE NHL IS NOW A MINNESOTA WILD!

Matt Cooke, more famous for ending careers than winning games, signed a 3 year contract with the Minnesota Wild.


Ok, the upside to this:  Matt Cooke is a big hitting forward that is an obvious replacement of Cal Clutterbuck.  He has been on winning teams in the past.  He can score goals on occasion.  He was nominated for the Masterton and lost to current Wild Josh Harding.

The downside?  This is a player that is almost universally reviled.  I say almost because the Pens fans still defend him for the same reason, invariably, that Wild fans will inevitably defend him:  He's on your team.  Another downside?  He's one blindside Savard-esque hit from being McSorley'd.  This guy skates on thin ice everywhere he goes.

CORRECTION:  3 years $7.5 million contract or $2.5 million a year.  THAT, my friends, is OVERPAYING worse than Stalberg's new contract.

He did have a decent year last year blocking shots but then again, someone had to because Marc Andre Sievry couldn't.

Trust me when I say it:  This was a BAD idea.  If the Wild really did want Cooke's services, they should have gone for a 1 year contract with a club option (if that's possible) for a second year.  He may have only had 36 PIM in 48 games last season, but he's still one of the most if not the most dangerous skater in the NHL and that's saying something (as a Red Wings fan who couldn't defend the Wings' signing Bertuzzi).

Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) on Twitter said it best:  The Wild traded 1 year contract of Devon Setoguchi for 1 2nd round pick and 3 years of Matt Cooke.

Be Proud Minnesota.
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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Monday, May 06, 2013

Don Cherry talks about Josh Harding on HNIC Coach's Corner



On tonight's Coach's Corner, Don Cherry mentioned Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding. I thought it was a nice touch by Don Cherry. I was talking to someone the other day, and it would make a nice story if the Minnesota Wild were able to make it out of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Obviously, it's a tall order, especially against the Presidents Trophy winning Blackhawks and with a goalie that hasn't played very much the last few years. No matter what happens to the Wild going forward, I think that Josh Harding has played pretty well.
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Sunday, May 05, 2013

Jason Zucker game winner against the Blackhawks


For the most part I thought that the Minnesota Wild were the better team today, except for the two-four  minute period of time where the Minnesota Wild tried to sit on the lead and it came back to bite them in the back side.




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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

(Video) Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom injured during warm ups.



Shall we say that the series is not starting out well for the Minnesota Wild, as their starting goalie Niklas Backstrom was injured during warm ups. The Wild's Backstrom was tied for first in wins with Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Niemi.

The backup goalie, Josh Harding has played in only five games all season long and only two games since January 30, 2013 and was unimpressive in relief against the Edmonton Oilers letting in three goals in the first four shots that he faced. The line on Harding, 1-1-0 .863 Save percentage and 3.20 GAA.
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