Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Matt Hackett recalled by Wild

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wild news, Wild player moves Updated: February 22, 2012 - 1:46 PM

The Wild has recalled Matt Hackett as insurance in case Josh Harding can't dress on the upcoming two-game road trip.

Both Harding and Niklas Backstrom practicing, but Hackett was recalled because Harding tweaked something in practice yesterday GM Chuck Fletcher said. Robby Nolan has been loaned from the ECHL to Houston in the interim. If Harding feels good after practice, Hackett likely goes right back.

Hackett, 21, is 2-0 with a 0.85 goals against average (GAA) and a .977 save percentage (SV%) in three games with Minnesota this season stopping 84 of 86 shots faced. He is 16-13-4 with a 2.42 GAA, a .917 SV% and one shutout in 34 games with the Aeros. Hackett was named the NHL’s Second Star on Dec. 12 after he stopped 76 of 78 shots faced in his first two NHL games for a 1.01 GAA, a .974 SV% and two wins. The 6-foot-2, 179-pound native of London, Ont., earned a win in his NHL debut stopping all 34 shots faced in relief at San Jose on Dec. 6 and then made 42 saves in a 4-2 win at Los Angeles on Dec. 8. According to Elias, he set an NHL record for longest shutout streak to start a career at 102:48. Hackett was Minnesota’s third-round pick (No. 77 overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and wears sweater #31 for the Wild.

I will be hosting a live chat on startribune.com at 10:30 a.m. providing the Internet on my flight continues to go well. Kent Youngblood is at Wild practice. I'll be back with you from Florida after the morning skates Thursday.

 

Here is a post-practice update:

 

Wild coach Mike Yeo said immediately after practice that he thought Harding would go on the trip. But somewhere on the bus ride from St. Thomas Academy back to Xcel Energy Center that changed. Neither Harding nor Mikko Koivu went on the trip. That means Hackett is Niklas Backstrom's backup and the Wild will be without their captain the next two days.

In other news:

--D Greg Zanon returned to practice after missing Tuesday's practice with an illness. 

--Neither Mike Lundin nor Clayton Stoner made the trip either.

--Both Yeo and goaltending coach Bob Mason said they saw signs in Niklas Backstrom's performance against Boston Sunday that suggest he could be due to go on a roll. I'll write about that for tomorrow's paper. 

 

That's about it for now. Mike will pick up the team in Florida.

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