The Minnesota Wild will be heading into a two game road trip without two of its top players. Captain Mikko Koivu, who suffered an injury last Thursday in the team’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets, and backup goaltender Josh Harding, who apparently suffered some sort of lower body “tweak” according to head coach Mike Yeo, did not make the trip Florida today with the rest of the team.
While Koivu’s presence is obviously something that the Wild has missed at points this season, Harding’s absence on this short road trip may be a large hole to fill as well. With back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, Harding was likely to start one of the two games. However, with the stellar goaltender staying home, rookie Matt Hackett has been called up to fill his shoes. While Hackett did an outstanding job in his stint with the Wild earlier this year, he is still a rookie, so this will likely make fans a little nervous when it comes to the possibility of him getting a start in one of these crucial games. It is yet to be seen if this will happen, or if Yeo will start Niklas Backstrom between the pipes in both games.
Minnesota currently finds itself five points out of 8th place in the Western Conference standings with 23 games left. The Wild will take on the Florida Panthers tomorrow night, before traveling to battle it out with the Dallas Stars on Friday.
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