Wild's Harding among NHL's best goalies this season


The Minnesota Wild is ten games into the season and they might have the best goalie in the NHL -- at this point, anyway.

Josh Harding replaced Niklas Backstrom as the No. 1 goalie after Backstrom hurt his knee in the third game of the season. It's been the Harding show ever since.

Harding's .96 goals against average is second in the league, only behind Colorado's Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has played five fewer games than Harding. His .953 save percentage ranks third in the league.

Making his start even more impressive is that Harding hasn't been tested by a ton of shots. That might sound easier, but Wild coach Mike Yeo says it actually makes a goalie's job harder.

"I was listening to a goalie the other night saying how much easier it is when the other team's getting a lot of chances and a lot of shots because you're into the game," Yeo said Wednesday, via the Pioneer Press. "It's a completely different challenge. He's got to sit there for a stretch of five to seven minutes without facing a shot, and then all of a sudden he gets a quality shot."

Harding's start is quite amazing considering he was diagnosed with MS before the start of last season. His courage earned him the Bill Masterton Trophy, which will be on display Thursday night when the Wild hosts the Carolina Panthers.

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