May 9, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT
Minnesota’s crease conundrum is solved — for now.
That might seem like a fairly ordinary decision, given the Harding-Kuemper combo has been used repeatedly during this series.
But this was anything but ordinary.
In Game 4, Harding — who assumed starting duties when Niklas Backstrom got hurt during warmup prior to Game 1 — left the game after the first period with what appeared to be a leg injury (‘Hawks captain Jonathan Toews landed awkwardly on Harding’s left leg.)
That forced Kuemper, 23, into his playoff debut.
What’s more, the injury to Harding meant Minnesota was without a backup goalie, forcing Backstrom into emergency relief (he was listed as a healthy scratch, but quickly got dressed and sat on the bench.)
During Thursday’s gameday skate, it seemed unclear who would get the nod for Game 5.
Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported both Harding and Backstrom didn’t “look good” in stopping shots, and that Yeo was having mini-meetings all over the ice, often involving goalie coach Bob Mason.
The Wild and ‘Hawks get things underway tonight (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at the United Center.
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- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 12
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 5
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 16
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal 47
- Mike Yeo is pretty unhappy with Minnesota’s goalie situation 20
- Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center 11
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands 61
- Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury 15
- Done deal, finally: Wings ink DeKeyser to two-year, $4.375M extension 11
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (61)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (54)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (47)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)