Wild notes: Spurgeon to miss a few weeks

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 5, 2014 - 12:03 AM

Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who is a plus-6 in 43 games, was injured when struck by a shot against the Buffalo Sabres.

Photo: Ann Heisenfelt • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Already without Zach Parise for six games and counting because of a broken foot, the Wild suffered another significant loss Saturday when it placed defenseman Jared Spurgeon on injured reserve with what sounds like a similar ailment.

Spurgeon, who played 27 minutes and was plus-3 on the Wild’s top defense pair in Thursday’s victory over Buffalo, was nailed by a shot in that game. He didn’t miss a shift, but coach Mike Yeo said Saturday that Spurgeon will miss “probably a few weeks.”

Spurgeon has 12 points and is plus-6 in 43 games and logs the third-most ice time among defensemen (21 minutes, 34 seconds a game).

Jonas Brodin, split from Suter the past two games, was back on the top pair Saturday against the Washington Capitals, while oft-scratched defenseman Nate Prosser assumed Spurgeon’s role next to Marco Scandella.

“He’s shown in the past that he can provide the kind of stability and defensive game that we need to go up against top lines,” Yeo said of Prosser. “It’s a great opportunity for him.”

Veteran defenseman Keith Ballard, a minus-12 in 17 games since missing nine games with broken ribs, returned to the lineup against Washington after being a healthy scratch against Buffalo.

Ballard said he understood why Yeo removed him Thursday.

“Since I came back from that second injury, I’ve been inconsistent,” Ballard said. “There’s been some mistakes that have cost us goals. I watched a lot of tape the last few days. A lot of the game is good, but there are a couple of mistakes that end up in the back of our net. I have to eliminate those.

“I’m not wondering where my game’s at. It’s just cleaning up and fine-tuning. When I played well at the start of the year, I wasn’t doing anything special. It was just managing the puck and managing the game and when the play’s there, make it. I’ve got to get back to that.”

Harding unavailable

Goaltender Josh Harding missed his second game and third day in a row. The only update from Yeo is Harding’s “not feeling well.”

Harding missed four games from Dec. 19-27 because he had a “minor adjustment” to his treatment for multiple sclerosis. Last year, he missed two months due to complications with his treatment of MS.

Yeo didn’t say if this is MS-related, but he sounded as if he’s expecting Harding to be out for a bit.

“Kemps [Darcy Kuemper] is a young kid and at some point if he … does get in, he’s going to have to perform,” Yeo said. “We have seen what he’s capable of doing in the past, but … I’m very comfortable with Backy [Niklas Backstrom] and with his game right now. Talking to him the other day, he’s been waiting for an opportunity, and here it is.”

If Harding misses significant time and Backstrom struggles, GM Chuck Fletcher might have to look for a goalie.

One who might be available is the Capitals’ Michal Neuvirth, 25, who has been a healthy scratch 10 consecutive games and hasn’t played since Nov. 22.

The unhappy $2.5 million goalie has asked to be traded.

In two NHL appearances this season, Kuemper has allowed six goals on 16 shots. But he is second in the AHL with a .929 save percentage.

“I wasn’t happy with the way the season was going, but I’ve finally gotten my game to where I want it,” said Kuemper, who backed up Backstrom for the second straight game Saturday.

Fontaine sits out

The Wild also played without right winger Justin Fontaine against Washington. Fontaine was “sore,” Yeo said, after an inadvertent collision with Ballard during Friday’s practice and was expected to be examined by team doctors Saturday night. Brett Bulmer was recalled and slotted into Fontaine’s spot on the Matt Cooke-Charlie Coyle line.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 88 FINAL
Charlotte 79
Philadelphia 103 FINAL
Detroit 109
Dallas 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
NY Islanders 3 FINAL
Boston 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Chicago 2 FINAL
Nashville 3
Arizona 0 FINAL
Minnesota 2
Carolina 0 FINAL
Calgary 5
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Columbus 5 FINAL
San Jose 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close