Two games against Colorado — two shutouts of various degrees of difficulties. They combined to give Darcy Kuemper
this week’s NHL No. 2 star designation.
Kuemper became the youngest goalie in NHL history to earn shutouts in each of the first two games of the season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He stopped 16 shots in Thursday’s opening 5-0 win over the Avs, then was spectacular with a 30-save shutout in a much higher-paced, 3-0 victory in Colorado on Saturday. Kuemper is the one guy who might not mind the five days off - with that 0.00 GAA and a 1.000 SV% to look at on a long flight to California this week.
How impressive was Kuemper’s body of work? The Avs have been blanked four times, counting the post-season, in Patrick Roy’s tenure. Kuemper has three of those shutouts, including two in three days last week. Kuemper’s last eight appearances, counting the playoffs, have come versus the Avs. He’s 5-1-0 with a 1.48 GAA and a .936 SV% in that span, including three shutouts in his last seven starts.
The 24-year-old Kuemper has already doubled his shutout total from last regular season. He became the youngest Wild goalie ever to start a home or season opener.
Kuemper was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week March 3, 2014.
The Wild gets back to work Friday in Anaheim, before facing the Cup champs Sunday at STAPLES Center.