The Minnesota Wild saw their hot streak come to an end on Friday night, when they were thrashed by the Dallas Stars, snapping the Wild’s seven-game winning streak. Part of the reason for that was the fact that Matt Hackett surrendered five goals.
You can’t fault Hackett for not looking too sharp in his first action of the year, after spending the entire season in the AHL, but it’s pretty clear that the Wild were missing starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom.
Backstrom didn’t make the trip with the team to Dallas. Instead, the Wild rolled with the duo of Hackett and Darcy Kuemper. It was Hackett that obviously ended up getting the start. The reason for leaving Backstrom behind wasn’t an issue of an injury, but rather fatigue.
The Wild have been riding Backstrom hard this season. Due to a combination of health issues for Josh Harding and Kuemper, they’ve been without a steady backup. Which means that Backstrom has had to make the majority of the starts for Minnesota, by far.
Backstrom has made 26 starts for the Wild, and appeared in 27 games overall, in 33 total contests on the season. That’s not the highest percentage in the league, but he’s up there as far as starts go. Which is why the Wild chose to rest him, and have him not even make the trip.
But he’ll be back between the pipes for the Wild on Saturday night, as they attempt to get a new winning streak started against a team that they are battling for playoff seeding: the Los Angeles Kings.