Backstrom out 2-4 weeks because of strained groin; Hackett up

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 3, 2012 - 1:33 AM

DETROIT — As if things weren't bad enough for the Wild with captain Mikko Koivu and wingers Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse hurt, goalie Niklas Backstrom will be sidelined two to four weeks because of a strained groin.

Backstrom's season is in jeopardy if he misses the high end of that window.

"Obviously we don't have lot of time here in the regular season," coach Mike Yeo said. Backstrom, 17-17-6 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .920 save percentage, was hurt less than three minutes into Thursday's game at Montreal after dropping down into his butterfly and kicking out his right pad to stop an Erik Cole shot. He immediately writhed in pain and was unable to put pressure on his left leg.

An MRI showed "no issues with his hip or anything like that," said Yeo, which is good news because Backstrom has had prior hip surgeries.

With Backstrom out, Matt Hackett was recalled to back up Josh Harding on Friday in Detroit and for the foreseeable future. Hackett, who turns 22 Wednesday, is 2-0 with a 0.63 goals against average for the Wild in five appearances, including Friday when he replaced Harding in the third period after he gave up his sixth goal.

Hackett won his first game in relief of an injured Harding in San Jose on Dec. 6, then his first NHL start two nights later in Los Angeles. He's stopped 100 of 102 shots for a .980 save percentage.

"The window's opened a little bit more than it was in the past," Yeo said. "Every time he's come up before he knew it was kind of a short-term thing. For a kid like him, he's just looking for an opportunity, a chance to come up and prove himself."

With the news so fresh and a game Friday, the coaches hadn't come with a plan on how to rotate Harding and Hackett. There's only two sets of back-to-backs the rest of the season and six road games.

"If somebody is able to get on a run here, then we'll be happy to give [the net] to him," Yeo said.

Paging goalie No. 3

Asked which skater would have had to play goal if Harding had also gotten hurt in Montreal, Yeo said, laughing: "Don't ask that because we were still trying to figure it out, to be honest with you. I didn't want to sit there and start asking players who had played goalie back in pee-wee hockey, so we didn't have that much of a plan. The plan was to make sure to protect Hards really well."

Christensen scratched

Erik Christensen was scratched for a second consecutive game.

"I'm not going to take Kass out. He's our goal scorer now," Yeo said, kiddingly referring to enforcer Matt Kassian, who scored twice against the Canadiens.

The Wild lost in a shootout. Christensen is tied for sixth in the NHL with 26 career shootout goals.

"When you get to the shootout, you're sitting there looking and saying, 'Man, I wish we had Christensen in the lineup right now,' " Yeo said.

But Yeo won't dress Christensen simply because he's good in shootouts. He is minus-11 in 12 games.

"I'm not trying to pick on Crusher here, but ... there's lots of guys that haven't been scoring goals," Yeo said. "Stephane Veilleux doesn't have a whole lot of points right now, but he's not a liability at all when he's on the ice, and he brings us energy and emotion.

"It's OK if you don't score, but just be effective in the game and make sure you don't cost us anything."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Orlando 89
Indiana 109 FINAL
Detroit 119
Milwaukee 107 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Houston 117 FINAL
Memphis 111
San Antonio 90 FINAL
New Orleans 97
Charlotte 75 FINAL
Oklahoma City 98
LA Lakers 98 FINAL
Dallas 102
Minnesota 102 FINAL
Denver 106
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Portland 114
Phoenix 115 FINAL
Sacramento 106
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 12/27/14 1:10 PM
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question