Updated:
Original:

Wild roundup: Backstrom to start; team recommends skate protectors

Author:

In a bit of a surprise, head coach Mike Yeo said he will start Niklas Backstrom in net tonight against Phoenix tonight despite abdominal soreness that has been hampering him the last week.

Backstrom, who has not missed any practice because of the ailment, was increasingly likely to sit tonight thanks to the strong performance of Darcy Kuemper between the pipes Tuesday in Los Angeles. Yeo decided otherwise.

On the other end of the ice, the Coyotes make a similar move, starting Mike Smith in goal despite goaltender Thomas Griess posting a shutout Tuesday.

Smith is the usual starter for Phoenix, with a 15-10-8 record this year, while Backstrom normally serves as the backup to the currently-inactive Josh Harding (illness).

Backstrom has allowed three-plus goals in seven of his last eight games, and is 4-9-2 on the year.

Other lineup notes have defenseman Marco Scandella slated to go tonight despite battling a lower-body injury suffered Tuesday, while offseason acquisition Jon Blum will take the place of Keith Ballard, who has struggled mightily of late.

One other note, with the recent rash of foot injuries to Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jared Spurgeon, and Scandella, all caused by blocking shots with their skates, general manager Chuck Fletcher says he will "strongly recommend" players wear plastic skate protectors.

The pieces of plastic that cover the sides and top of the skate were reportedly being pushed by Fletcher before the run of foot injuries, though few skaters seem to have taken him up in the idea.

Puck drop in the desert tonight at 8 p.m.

Next Up

Dak Prescott

Report: Dak Prescott will be 'ready to go' for matchup with Vikings

The Dallas quarterback is expected to be available for next Sunday's showdown.

Eddie Rosario

Where Eddie Rosario's championship series heroics rank since 2000

The former Twin put together an all-timer to help the Braves reach the World Series.

plane, Piper PA-32

2 dead after plane crashes near residence in rural Wisconsin

The aircraft also struck the house during the crash.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 9.38.43 PM

1 dead after van crashes and lands on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center

Northbound Highway 100 was shut down following the crash Saturday night.

Jess Peterson

Woman killed in crash ID'd as 'bad ass biker chick' with 'giving spirit'

The 30-year-old died in a motorcycle crash on Oct. 19.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.

Related