Fantasy Pick: Niklas Backstrom
The Wild might have lost one of its Finns to injury for the next few weeks, but it still has a Finnish goaltender that has been robbing opponents left and right. It seems like Niklas Backstrom
has made highlight-worthy saves in every game this season, but his stop
on Dan Cleary in overtime of the Wild's last game Sunday might have been the most impressive yet. Backs made 38 great saves to help the Wild earn a point against the always-tough Detroit Red Wings Sunday.
Tonight, he'll go up against the Edmonton Oilers, a team he has been downright mean against in St. Paul. Backstrom is 16-2-1 with a 1.76 GAA, a .934 SV% and four shutouts in 21 starts against the Oilers, but he's even tougher on home ice, going 12-0-0 with a 1.16 GAA, a .955 SV% and four shutouts.
Backs' 12-0-0 home mark against Edmonton is the longest current home win streak vs. one team by an NHL goaltender, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He's helped the Wild earn 14 straight home wins against the Oilers by a combined score of 50-18. The Wild's 14-game home win streak against Edmonton is one shy of the longest current home win streak by one team over another, according to Elias. Nashville has won 15 straight at home versus Columbus.
It's just another spring for Backstrom, who traditionally has better statistics in the final months of the season. He is 6-3-1 with a 1.49 GAA, a .952 SV% and two shutouts in 10 starts since Jan. 19. Overall, he ranks third in the NHL in SV% and is T-7th in GAA.
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