Coming into last week, the Minnesota Wild was staring at three crucial games. On Tuesday, it would face the Dallas Stars, a team directly ahead of Minnesota in the standings. The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers were next; two teams directly behind the Wild in the Western Conference and desperate to make up ground.
The Wild pulled out three big wins, thanks in large part to the goaltending of Niklas Backstrom who started and won all three. For his efforts, Backstrom was named the NHL’s Star of the Week. In the three wins, Backstrom posted a 1.62 goals against average and a .933 save percentage after giving up just five goals on 75 shots.
To hear from Backstrom as well as head coach Jacques Lemaire and President/General Manager Doug Risebrough, click here for the latest Wild PONDcast.
Backstrom has started the last 11 games in place of injured Manny Fernandez, and has gone 8-2-1 in that span. Fernandez was the last Wild player to be named NHL Player of the Week for the week of December 26, 2005.