Wild's goalie merry-go-round keeps spinning

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 3, 2014 - 7:04 AM
hide

Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made a save on an attempted deflection by Jonathan Toews in the first period.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, DML - Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Officially, goalie Darcy Kuemper is day-to-day because of an upper-body injury. Also officially, the rookie goalie wasn’t in Chicago for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Friday night because he was getting “checked out.”

Ilya Bryzgalov started against the Blackhawks. John Curry backed up. Josh Harding took part in the morning skate. It was just another day in the Wild’s never-ending goaltending merry-go-round.

Kuemper, who missed the final seven games of the regular season because of a concussion and couldn’t start Games 1 and 2 of the first round as he worked his way back, was injured in the second period of Game 7. He collided with Colorado’s Matt Duchene and his head hit teammate Ryan Suter’s hip.

“Right away in the second period, I thought he was hurt,” Suter said. “I asked him, ‘You all right?’ And he didn’t say anything, so I said, ‘Well, you’re not coming out. You’re fine, you’re tough, you’re playing.’ ”

Suter added with a laugh, “I probably shouldn’t have said that.”

But in the third period, after Kuemper allowed a fourth goal that gave Colorado a one-goal lead, play stopped.

“Someone said he was having a problem,” Suter said. “I started talking to him and he was like, ‘Yeah. I’m fine. I’m fine.’ I said, ‘Darcy, what do you want to do?’ He goes, ‘I’m fine.’ I was just the in-between. I didn’t make the decision to take him out. At the end of the day, [athletic therapist] Donny [Fuller] got him out of there.”

‘Anything can happen’

Curry was sitting in a Pepsi Center suite in a business suit with several of his scratched teammates. He ran down to the locker room to suit up. Five minutes later, he was in the middle of a celebratory pile wearing a Wild uniform as teammates reveled in their Game 7 victory.

That’s one reason why Curry prepared as if he could even get in Friday.

“Anything can happen,” said Curry, the former Breck star who made 43 saves in his first NHL appearance in four years April 10 against St. Louis. “The gravity of the position, you better know you can play at any time.”

Curry, 30, has especially learned that with the Wild, which has used five starting goalies this season. It’s interesting that Harding, sidelined since Dec. 31 because of complications from multiple sclerosis, took the ice Friday for practice.

“This is an extreme long shot to think he would have a chance to play in this series,” coach Mike Yeo said.

Of course, stranger things have happened. In last year’s playoffs, Harding was sidelined for two months because of MS and had to start every game in the playoffs for injured Niklas Backstrom.

“If there’s an absolute emergency or there’s a desperate situation we find ourselves in, we’ll be prepared for that,” Yeo said. “We’re not getting him on the ice to get ready to play a game, let’s put it that way.”

If Harding can’t return in the series, the Wild’s only insurance for Bryzgalov is Curry, who has played six NHL games. During Wednesday’s game in Denver, Curry talked with scratched forward Mike Rupp about how quickly things can change for a goalie.

“A period later, I’m dressed on the bench,” Curry said.

Etc.

• Right winger Charlie Coyle took 15 stitches the right side of his bottom lip down to the chin courtesy of Suter’s deflected shot in Game 7.

“I can’t even smile,” Coyle said … smiling.

He can talk (with a bit of a lisp), eat and drink, so he got lucky.

“It was a freak accident. Luckily it tipped. I couldn’t imagine getting it straight on,” Coyle said. “Most [stitches] I’ve ever had. Well worth it.”

• Dany Heatley, who had a goal and two assists in Game 7 and played well the past five games, was back on the No. 1 power play against the Blackhawks. “This is the most ‘Dany Heatley’ that we’ve seen all year,” Yeo said.

• Chicago forward Andrew Shaw left the game because of a lower-body injury after being crushed by Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner in the first period. He is listed as day-to-day.

• Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg was a healthy scratch.

• Single-game tickets for Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, 6 at Xcel Energy Center go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday. Tickets range from $49 to $146.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 4 3rd Prd 11:10
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
UNLV 61 FINAL
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
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: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close