Wild's goalie merry-go-round keeps spinning

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 3, 2014 - 7:04 AM
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Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made a save on an attempted deflection by Jonathan Toews in the first period.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, DML - Star Tribune

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– 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.

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Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 64 3rd Qtr 3:09
Chicago 55
Oklahoma City 2:30 PM
Cleveland
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 45 2nd Half 9:53
Georgia Tech 35
Virginia 36 2nd Half 10:24
Virginia Tech 43
Indiana 32 2nd Half
Ohio State 38
Stony Brook 16 1st Half 8:11
Binghamton 15
Cincinnati 12 1st Half 9:52
UCF 18
Maine 19 1st Half 6:20
Hartford 16
Monmouth 26 1st Half 4:13
Manhattan 29
Fairfield 21 1st Half 5:47
Marist 21
Rowan 18 1st Half 2:31
Princeton 41
St Bonaventure 10 1st Half 7:37
Rhode Island 13
Duke 23 1st Half 11:05
St Johns 17
Saint Peters 26 1st Half 3:46
Siena 21
Drake 10 1st Half 7:48
Wichita State 20
Vermont 21 1st Half 5:57
UMass Lowell 15
Seton Hall 2:00 PM
Butler
NJIT 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
UMBC 3:30 PM
Albany
Niagara 3:30 PM
Iona
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 51 2nd Half 5:51
UMBC 38
Vanderbilt 45 2nd Half 7:18
Alabama 43
Lafayette 35 2nd Half 11:21
Lehigh 41
UCF 16 1st Half 9:08
SMU 12
Utah 17 1st Half 5:20
Washington 24
James Madison 28 1st Half 5:49
Coll of Charleston 18
Delaware 18 1st Half 3:40
Drexel 26
Hofstra 18 1st Half 7:26
William & Mary 22
Hartford 16 1st Half 8:13
Albany 24
Binghamton 16 1st Half 6:54
Stony Brook 22
Towson 27 1st Half 7:14
UNC-Wilmington 16
Wake Forest 26 1st Half 8:33
(17) Florida State 34
Georgia Tech 20 1st Half 4:40
Virginia 24
(22) Georgia 22 1st Half 5:55
(5) Tennessee 14
Drake 23 1st Half 6:03
Evansville 21
Iona 30 1st Half 5:45
Canisius 22
Fairfield 10 1st Half 7:21
Monmouth 17
Northwestern 21 1st Half 7:31
Penn State 26
Wisconsin 26 1st Half 3:59
Michigan State 27
Ohio State 20 1st Half 5:20
Purdue 20
Northern Iowa 19 1st Half 7:56
Indiana State 14
Butler 2 1st Half 18:13
Xavier 2
Creighton 2:00 PM
Marquette
Providence 2:00 PM
DePaul
Northeastern 2:00 PM
Elon
(2) Connecticut 2:00 PM
Cincinnati
Oregon 2:00 PM
Arizona
Bradley 2:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
NC State 2:00 PM
(23) Syracuse
(7) Maryland 2:00 PM
Indiana
Illinois State 2:05 PM
Missouri State
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Missouri
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
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