The hits keep coming for the Minnesota Wild, who will likely be without leading goaltender Josh Harding tonight against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
Harding didn't join the team for an optional skate this morning, but the starting goalie will typically take the ice during game days.
With Harding out the expectation would be for Niklas Backstrom to start, and Kuemper to provide backup duty.
Based on statistics alone, this isn't good for the Wild, who have lost a franchise record six consecutive games. Minnesota is 2-9-2 in games started by Backstrom. Harding leads the NHL with a 1.66 goals-against average... Backstrom's GAA is a unusually high 3.30.
But if there was ever a game Backstrom could build confidence in, it's against the Sabres, who are by far the lowest-scoring team in the league.
Oh, and happy birthday to Zenon Konopka. His gift from the Wild was a trip to the waiver wire. Ouch.