Player News - Wild

Date: Team: Pos:

Niklas Backstrom stopped 14 of 16 shots he faced in Minnesota's 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

Backstrom started his first game since January and didn't really look out of place. He wasn't very busy today, as Minnesota dominated 41-16 in shots. The 36-year-old was beat in the first period by Tyler Toffoli, and in the third period by Tanner Pearson. Backstrom is an aging goaltender who isn't a good bet to stay healthy. The emergency of Darcy Kuemper also doesn't help Backstrom's cause.
Oct 19 - 6:10 PM

Ryan Suter registered an assist and played a game-high 32:50 in Minnesota’s 2-1 loss to Los Angeles on Sunday.

32:50 is a season-high for Suter. The 29-year-old got an assist on Matt Cooke’s third period goal. Even though Minnesota has struggled to score of late, Suter is having himself a very good season. He has one goal and three assists in four games this year. The Wild outshot the Kings 41-16, but Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick got the better of Minnesota.
Oct 19 - 6:04 PM

Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo says the team needs more from forward Jason Zucker.

Zucker sent a pass into teammate Matt Dumba's skates that led to Corey Perry's game winning goal on Friday. "With his speed, it’s just kind of a minor thing and these are learning moments," Yeo said. "If he can have a bit of a shoulder check, he can realize that he has a little bit more time and space, that he’s part of the attack as opposed to just moving it to somebody. It’s just trying to get his feet going and with his speed, that could be such a factor for us. We saw it on his goal. As much as anything else, I wanted to make sure he knows that one mistake, that’s part of the game, that’s part of the process for a young player and he’s still developing and you’ve got to move on from that and learn from it."
Oct 19 - 12:09 PM

Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo has been impressed with Charlie Coyle's play so far this season.

"I’m looking at the scoresheet after the game last night and the way Charlie played, I’m just saying I didn’t play him enough," Yeo said of Coyle’s 12:33 ice time. "He deserves more and he deserves more of an opportunity and he’s going to get that." The 22-year-old has two points in three games this season. He should get plenty of opportunity to put up a decent amount of points this season. He is an intriguing buy-low candidate.
Oct 19 - 12:05 PM

Wild head coach Mike Yeo is looking to make some changes on the Minnesota power play.

The Wild are 0 for 11 on the man-advantage this season. The first unit in practice consisted of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Thomas Vanek with Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville on the points. Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Grandlund, Charlie Coyle, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin were on the second unit. "I think that young group can really challenge the first group," Yeo said. "They’re really comfortable with each other. Sometimes the young kids go out there with an older guy and they defer."

Niklas Backstrom will get his first start of the season on Sunday against the Kings.

Backstrom is now the backup in Minnesota as Darcy Kuemper is the top gun. The 36-year-old Backstrom is still a good netminder but he gets hurt too often to be considered a fantasy asset at this stage of his career. He struggled last season with injuries as his 5-11-2 record and 3.02 GAA with a .899 save percentage attests to.
Oct 19 - 6:50 AM

The Avalanche have no interest in bringing in Ilya Bryzgalov, according to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox.

Cox reported that Bryzgalov’s camp contacted Colorado, but the team declined. The Avs are using Calvin Pickard, their third-string netminder, with Semyon Varlamov on the injured reserve with a groin injury and Reto Berra dealing with a neck injury. Neither goalie figures to be out long-term.
Oct 18 - 9:31 PM

Justin Fontaine played a strong game on Minnesota's second line against the Ducks' Friday night.

It was his first game of the season and he looked good alongside Mikko Koivu and Thomas Vanek. If you are looking for an under-the-radar pick up, consider Fontaine.
Oct 18 - 1:04 PM

Keith Ballard (lower body) returned to action on Friday October 17.

Ballard had an assist and a minor penalty in only 7:08 minutes of action as the Wild went with mostly four defensemen with Mathew Dumba just getting over 11 minutes of ice time. Ballard is not worth taking at this time.
Oct 18 - 2:05 AM

Jason Zucker scored his second goal of the season on Friday night, beating Anaheim's Frederik Andersen.

Albeit it was a softy. Andersen probably should've had it as he wasn't settled yet when Zucker snapped one from the left dot off a rush. Then again, perhaps Zucker deserves credit for shooting before he got set. Either way, a goal is a goal and this one counts just the same.
Oct 18 - 1:28 AM

Darcy Kuemper set Minnesota's franchise record for longest shutout streak to begin a season with 163:46, beating Niklas Backstrom's 157:44 set in 2011.

Seven full periods plus nearly a quarter additional period of shutout goalkeepering is a fine away to begin one's season, and perhaps cement the idea that Kuemper is the real deal. Only Andrew Cogliano off a shorthanded rush and Corey Perry off a fortuitous bounce in his favor have managed to beat Kuemper through the young season, unfortunately for him, that was enough for his first loss as well.
Oct 18 - 1:04 AM

Kyle Brodziak is projected to be a healthy scratch Friday night.

Minnesota's fourth line at practice appears to be Matt Cooke, Ryan Carter and Jason Zucker. The Wild will get Justin Fontaine back from injury against Anaheim, so he'll be taking Brodziak's spot in the lineup.
Oct 17 - 3:51 PM

Justin Fontaine will return from a glute injury Friday night.

He missed most of training camp as well as Minnesota's first two games of the regular season. Fontaine will skate on the second line with Mikko Koivu and Thomas Vanek.
Oct 17 - 2:50 PM

Stu Bickel has successfully cleared waivers.

Bickel has been sent to AHL Iowa. That has created an opening on the roster for Justin Fontaine, who will probably return from his leg injury on Friday.
Oct 14 - 3:06 PM

Justin Fontaine (leg) is likely to make his season debut on Friday.

Fontaine is projected to play alongside Thomas Vanek and Mikko Koivu, which is a great opportunity for him. He had 13 goals and 21 points in 66 games as a rookie in 2013-14.
Oct 14 - 3:04 PM


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