Scoggins: Kuemper doing what's needed

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 25, 2014 - 7:23 AM

The Wild goalie hasn’t had to make many saves, but he’s responded when challenged.

hide

Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper deflected the puck in the second period, one of only 11 saves he had to make Thursday night.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Under normal circumstances, a goaltender who posts a shutout in his first career playoff start and allows only one goal in 2 ½ games would be the recipient of bouquets.

Darcy Kuemper’s contribution has felt more like a footnote. That’s because he’s hardly broken a sweat.

Kuemper had an easy-peasy workload in posting a shutout against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3, and remarkably, he faced even less resistance in a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild set a playoff franchise record by holding the Avs to only 12 shots. That’s not a misprint.

“Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had that few,” Kuemper said. “Probably back to midgets or something like that.”

Discombobulated by the Wild’s forecheck and smothering pressure, the Avs wilted offensively for a second consecutive game and allowed Kuemper enough time to make a sandwich and clip his fingernails in between saves.

The Avs managed only three shots in the first period. They fared slightly better in the second period with four shots, although one of those did slip under Kuemper’s pads for a goal.

Kuemper had his only hiccup of the series since taking over for Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 2 on Ryan O’Reilly’s wobbler from the outside. He said he didn’t get caught napping from sheer boredom.

“It bounced off the ice,” he said. “It was kind of a bad break. I’ve never really seen it bounce off the ice like that before.”

Other than that brief lapse, zilch, nada. If there’s one way to sum up the Avs offense the past two games, it’s Shhhhhhhh!

The Avalanche’s run-and-gun offense is so dormant right now that Kuemper didn’t earn one of Game 3’s three stars after accomplishing something that hadn’t been done in the NHL since 1936. His omission wasn’t a slight, either.

Kuemper only needed to be solid, not spectacular, in the Wild’s 1-0 overtime victory Monday. He stopped all 22 shots he faced, but in reality, Kuemper spent most of the game as a spectator while his teammates swarmed Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov with 46 shots.

Avs coach Patrick Roy, a Hall of Fame goalie, counted only four real scoring chances in his team’s 22 shots. That would be easy pickings for any goalie.

“Honestly, the last game it wouldn’t have mattered who was in net for them,” Roy said. “I don’t want to take anything away from him, but at the same time, I thought he had an easy game.”

The same quote applied to Game 4, except Kuemper had an easier time of it.

The Wild kept the same blueprint Thursday to even the series at 2-2. That blueprint looks something like this: Pin the Avs in their own end, smother them in the neutral zone and tilt the ice to such a degree that Kuemper could watch in relative comfort.

“This is the best hockey I’ve seen us play all year,” Kuemper said. “They’re making it pretty easy on me, not facing a whole lot.”

The Wild defended every square inch of home ice as if it was a treasured heirloom. The Avs couldn’t take one stride without a Wild player clinging to them like lint.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Cleveland 11/6/14 7:25 PM
Cincinnati
Memphis 97 FINAL
Indiana 89
Cleveland 114 FINAL
Chicago 108
Philadelphia 81 FINAL
Milwaukee 93
Portland 94 FINAL
Sacramento 103
San Antonio 89 FINAL
Phoenix 94
LA Clippers 95 4th Qtr 9:02
LA Lakers 97
Toronto 4 FINAL
Columbus 1
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Detroit 5
Anaheim 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 1
Nashville 3 FINAL
Calgary 4
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 38 FINAL
Tulane 14
Tulsa 20 FINAL
Memphis 40
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Memphis 11/7/14 6:30 PM
Temple
Utah State 11/7/14 7:00 PM
Wyoming
(12) Baylor 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(19) Oklahoma
(11) Kansas State 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(10) TCU
Hamilton 34 FINAL
Ottawa 25
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
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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