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Kuemper to dress, back up for first time in series

May 13, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

Darcy Kuemper AP

The Minnesota Wild will get some reinforcements into the lineup for tonight’s Game 6 against the Blackhawks, as goalie Darcy Kuemper will dress and back up Ilya Bryzgalov for the first time this series.

Kuemper, who started five games in the opening round against Colorado, suffered an upper-body injury in Game 7 against the Avs and has been held out of action ever since. Journeyman John Curry has dressed as Bryzgalov’s backup through the first five games of the Chicago series, but has yet to see any action.

Kuemper, 24, had played very well prior to getting hurt, going 3-1-1 with a 2.03 GAA and .913 save percentage, recording one shutout.

As for the Wild, tonight’s game will mark the third time this postseason they’ve faced elimination… and the first with Bryzgalov starting. In Game 6 of the opening round, Kuemper stopped 21 of 23 shots for the win, then made 17 saves on 21 shots in Game 7 before Bryzgalov came in and finished things off.

  1. homegrowntalentmn - May 13, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    good for him. let’s go wild!

  2. trotnixonisbestnixon - May 13, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    This could go one of two ways for the Wild. Either Bryz stays focused and gives Minny some elite goaltending or he caves from the pressure of knowing Kuemps is breathing down his neck. Let’s be real, there was no threat of him losing that crease to Curry.

    • getadealdonealready - May 13, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      I don’t think there is a chance that he loses the net to Kuemper this series, he has played well enough in games 3-5 to stay in net, only way Kemps gets in is if Bryz gets pulled, and that most likely would only be for a period of what most likely is the last game of the year.

      • dwadholm - May 13, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        So the question is… 2 goals, 3 goals, 1 soft goal, any 2+ goal deficit? What criteria will be used to pull Bryz?

      • getadealdonealready - May 13, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        I think only coach Yeo knows that, and it depends on two things how much confidence he has in Bryz to bounce back, and how good Kuemper looked when skating with the team. Prior to putting Kemps in for CO series there were several reports from Russo that Yeo had commented how sharp Kuemper had looked in practice and that he was game ready. We haven’t heard that, so my best guess is Bryz will be given some rope and it’s his game to win or lose.

        Bottom line if we see the Wild team we saw in game 4 I could be in net and they’d have a chance to win. I think I could be lucky enough to get hit by a puck or two, but probably not more than that.

  3. purpleguy - May 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    We’re gonna have to start wrapping our goalies in bubble wrap or something.

  4. guitarisgood4u - May 13, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    This question is a little too soon, since the wild are still in the playoffs (and hopefully will be for a while yet)

    but,

    anyone taking bets on who is the starter in net for the Wild at the beginning of next season?

    • getadealdonealready - May 13, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      I say we keep playing for 2-3 more weeks then worry about it in June!

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