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Continued: Wild goalie Kuemper is one resilient rookie

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 27, 2014 - 2:11 PM

On Nov. 23, he was demoted when Backstrom was able to return from a concussion. Kuemper checked his luggage and cleared customs at the Winnipeg airport, then got a frazzled phone call 20 minutes before the Wild’s game to return to the arena because Harding left because of leg spasms.

On Dec. 23, Kuemper was scheduled to start the Wild’s game in Philadelphia but was injured playing for Iowa on Dec. 21.

“I was dying to get another chance,” he said. “It was for the best in the long run. It allowed me to heal.”

He hasn’t looked back.

“We’re lucky to have a guy like him,” teammate Charlie Coyle said. “It was kind of shaky time, both goalies going down. We’re kind of scrambling. He comes in and he plays great for us. He stepped up big time.”

Kuemper was riding high before the Olympic break. The new challenge is rediscovering that game after a three-week hiatus.

“I like his attitude,” coach Mike Yeo said. “He wants the net. He’s a young guy and he’s not content, he’s not satisfied with anything that’s happened. He wants more.”

 

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