I recently examined the Minnesota Wild’s individual skater records and estimated their probability of being broken, and today, I wanted to continue that and look at goalie records. The Wild have had a number of good goalies throughout the years, but the one that has really shined has been Nicklas Backstrom.
Career Wins: 160, Nicklas Backstrom, as of the end of 2011-12 season.
Obviously, if Backstrom re-signs with the team,this number will continue to go up. Right now I think there is a good possibility of that happening, so Backstrom’s career win total could approach 200. While the Wild have a number of good goalie prospects and a great number two goalie in Josh Harding, it’s hard to project any of them eclipsing this number.
Most Wins in a Season: 37, Nicklas Backstrom (2008-09).
This statistic is very difficult to project, because there are a number of factors that go into getting a win. If the goalie plays great but the team doesn’t score, he may not win, and conversely, if the goalie plays poorly but the team puts up five or six goals, the goalie might get a win despite a bad game. Plus, we are seeing more and more time shares in the NHL, and the days of one goaltender starting 70 or more games are pretty much gone. For this reason, the season-wins record will be a difficult one to break, but I do think ultimately someone comes along and has a great season along with a good team effort in front of him to crack that 40-win mark.
Most shutouts in a season: 8, Nicklas Backstrom (2008-09).
I think this record will stand the longest, as the level of offense continues to rise in the NHL. Backstrom’s shutout record came in the same year as his win record, so perhaps someone else comes along and has a phenomenal season, but even so, if this record was to be broken it would be hard to imagine anything other than a 9- or 10- shutout season.