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Wild woes continue as Niklas Backstrom leaves game

Mar 1, 2012, 8:13 PM EDT

Niklas Backstrom, Evander Kane AP

There was already an instinct to stick a fork in the Minnesota Wild’s playoff hopes upon hearing that Mikko Koivu will miss at least two more weeks, but now their other big-money cornerstone might be on the shelf.

Pricey No. 1 starter Niklas Backstrom needed help getting off the ice after injuring himself while making a save in tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Obviously it’s early in the process, but various testimonies seemed rather negative.

Ultimately it’s really only good news for one person: backup goalie Josh Harding. The pending unrestricted free agent has a lot to gain if he plays well – especially if this ailment sidelines Backstrom for a lengthy amount of time.

  1. whistler1217 - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    As a Mn sports fan I’ve been in nosedive for picks mode the last few years. First the Vikes, now I just want the Wild to lose out. No point in winning. Without looking, I think we’re in about the 8-10 range, why not shoot for top three?

    • James O'Brien - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      One could argue that part of the problem for Minny is that they’ve sort of been in purgatory for a while now – not making/barely making the playoffs, but not bad enough to get crucial high-end picks.

      • whistler1217 - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        Exactly my point. We’ve done alright getting Granlund and Brodin around the number 8 pick area, but before that it was mid-first round picks. If you aren’t going to make the playoffs, I say play your potential future guys, maybe lose in the process, and get a top pick. Look at the Pens with Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury.

  2. dumptrucked - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    The Wild were cooked three weeks ago. You just cant make up six points this late in the season with heavy inter-division play and the teams ahead of you getting points every night (not to mention no scoring ability).The Wild have several problems but Fletcher has been great and he almost has cleared all of Doug R’s bad contracts and he has established a top prospect pipeline. The next two to three years will have the Wild vaulting quickly to top 5 in the West.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:27 AM

      The Wild are going to look entirely different next year. Not only will they have Granlund and Brodin but Coyle, Phillips and Zucker should make it up too. If they can swing Parise and/or Suter as well, they’ve got pretty good odds of playing well into April and May.

  3. greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    IF it’s a torn ACL, I say put Backstrom on long term IR. ACL’s take 12 month minimum to recover from. Considering how far back the Wild are from the playoffs, and Harding becoming a UFA at season’s end, why not put Matt Hackett in the rest of the season? What do we have to lose? Hackett is suppose to be the real deal. Give him the rest of this year, and with Backstrom on long term IR, that would open up his 6 million for free agency over the summer. Hello, Parise AND Suter…

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1862)
  2. P. Kane (1632)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1352)
  4. M. Richards (1351)
  5. N. Backstrom (1213)