Wild goaltender Harding to change MS treatment
Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding has been having an absolutely phenomenal start to the 2013-14 season. With starter Niklas Backstrom struggling to start the season before enduring a hard hit from Toronto’s Nazem Kadri back on Nov. 13, Harding has put his team on his back and the Wild have stayed firmly in the Western Conference’s playoff race.
Harding has been nothing short of fantastic for the Wild thus far. Harding has posted a record of 18-5-3 with an insane 1.51 goals-against average and .939 save percentage with three shutouts in 27 appearances this season.
However, Harding’s campaign will be put on hold shortly. The Wild placed Harding on injured reserve Wednesday in order to give the goaltender time to acclimate to a new treatment for his multiple sclerosis.
Harding was diagnosed with the disease in the fall of 2012 during the lockout, but still managed to play five games in the remainder of that season. The Wild posted an update on Harding to their website, indicating that the change should only be a minor setback and Harding will not miss much time.
“Over the next week, Josh will make a minor adjustment to his treatment protocol,” Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said. “Josh feels great and he looks forward to rejoining our team for our game in Winnipeg on Dec. 27.”
The Wild recalled 21-year-old Johan Gustafsson from AHL Iowa to fill the backup role behind Backstrom. In five games since the Toronto game in which he was hit by Kadri, Backstrom has a 1-4-0 record with a 2.58 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. In nine games with Iowa, Gustafsson is 4-4-0 with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage.
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[H/T Pro Hockey Talk]