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

Mar 31, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT

Bryzgalov Getty Images

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.

Elsewhere…

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

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

  1. c9castine - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Personally I think they need to just go with Bryzgalov for better or worse. He has the experience, he has the skill. He just might have the game to make them compete into the playoffs.

    Keumper has shown has might be a decent NHL backup but he cant carry the daily load. Not yet anyway.

    • spiciercheez - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Kuemper is now sick and had to leave the morning skate. Hold down the fort Bryz!!

      • clarke16 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        If you listen too much to most of the whiner Wild fans posing here–you’d have to say that it makes no difference who they play in goal. After all, the coach needs to be fired, the team needs to be blown up, all the do is crash/burn at the end of the season BLAH BLAH BLAH. Good thing the team isn’t as weak as many of these winter Vikings fans…

    • clarke16 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      QB comes the closest–but there is no position in sports more dependent upon confidence than Goalie. The very best of the best netminders aren’t that way because they necessarily have better vision or reflexes–but because MENTALLY THEY CAN KEEP THEMSELVES IN THE GROOVE. That’s easier said than done when every damn night you and everyone else knows that it is YOUR game to win or lose…

      Keumps is going to make a fine goaltender–but he’s still green…TOO green to carry that pressure night after night as the playoff heat starts to scorch. Yeo and Fletcher knew this was likely coming–and that’s why the very astute move was made at the deadline to bring in a battle-tested vet like Bryz…

      Bryz will continue starting the next couple after this one while Keumps adjusts to the pressure–then they’ll put the kid back in for a game to see how he’s coming along…but it’s the Bryz show now for the foreseeable future…

  2. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Pavelec is out, they called up Hutchinson yesterday

    • Mike Halford - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      Montoya has a tweak, Pavelec is starting tonight:

  3. favrewillplay4ever - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    This was the Wild’s only option at this point. Gotta ride it out with their most experienced Goalie instead of riding the (of late) roller coaster of Keumper’s inexperience and inconsistencies. He MAY have a bright future in this league but over the past month he’s proven that he can’t handle starting duties with the pressure mounting for a potential playoff run. Dudes confidence is shot right now

  4. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Clarke16:
    Have you liked what you’ve seen from the Wild recently (other than a period or two)? Have they been playing their best hockey when it matters most? Thoughts on special teams? Have you read/heard comments from team leaders such as Suter and Parise during this swoon?
    I ask because I feel the angst from Wild fans is justified. That’s not to say the team should be blown up, or the coach fired. (In fact, even if they continue to struggle to the point that they miss the playoffs, I’m not sold on firing Yeo.)
    But I disagree that Wild fans posting here are band wagon types/or hockey ignorant given what has been going down recently.

    • clarke16 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:25 AM

      The Wild are coming from NOTHING, Nico. It’s a process of evolution and maturity to reach down and find that thing you need to win consistently this time of year. This is a team, for God’s sake, that didn’t even make the playoffs for the 5 years prior to last–yet a good represention of these ignorant fans, most of whom who have never taken a shift in their life or have a single scar on their face, whine for the firing of the head coach–who looks to be doing mostly all the right things–as this squad grows and gels (and they clearly are)….or advocate for the team to be blown up and rebuilt from scratch. See the comments from the recent “should the wild keep going with Kuemper” post for reference.

      As I’ve said before–a team doesn’t go straight up and it doesn’t go straight down–and you don’t learn what you’re made of without adversity to test and temper your mettle. This team is moving in the right direction. It still lacks a couple of pieces and won’t advance far into the playoffs yet–but the right moves are being made to make that a reality in the near future…

  5. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    My bad Mike!

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