Here is a pre-game update: Josh Harding felt good enough after skating this morning that he will be backing up Matt Hackett in tonight's game. Defenseman Clayton Stoner, meanwhile, is active for the first time after missing 17 games with a lower body injury.
As Wild coach Mike Yeo was addressing the media Sunday morning, Josh Harding was still on the ice, so Yeo wasn't ready to make any definitive decisions on who the team's backup goaltender will be tonight against Calgary.
"We're going game-time right now," he said.
Greetings. Kent Youngblood here. I'll be covering the Wild tonight, with Mike Russo returning Monday.
The two days of speculation on who the team's backup goalie would be is likely a moot point. Matt Hackett will start and whoever the designated backup is probably won't play. Then again, recent events at the position prove that anything can happen.
If Harding cant' go, Yeo said the team has another option willing and able. Again, he wouldn't say who that option is, but my guess is it's a local amateur. We shall fine out tonight. Or not, if Harding is able to be the backup.
There was no team skate this morning, just a few injured players and Harding were on the ice. The rest of the players had a meeting with the coaches.
In other news:
--Defenseman Clayton Stoner responded well to Saturday's practice and could play tonight. He, too, will be a game-time decision.
--Despite the team's disappointing season, Yeo said he is not considering shutting down any of the injured players for the rest of the season. That doesn't' mean the team is about to rush anybody back. But Yeo thinks it's important for the team to finish strong even if it is out of the playoffs. So any player who becomes ready to play will play, he said.
--Yeo said defenseman Tom Gilbert, who was acquired in the Nick Schultz trade, is finally getting comfortable with the Wild's system and is starting to show the offensive spark the team was looking for when the trade was made.
--Cal Clutterbuck will not play tonight.
That's about it for now. Have a great Sunday.