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The Wild’s poor goaltending is costing them valuable points

Calle Jarnkrok, Darcy Kuemper, Mikko Koivu

Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok (19), of Sweden, scores on Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper (35) as Wild center Mikko Koivu (9), of Finland, tries unsuccessfully to stop him during the first period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)


“With five goals, we should be able to win a hockey game,” said Wild captain Mikko Koivu after Saturday’s 6-5 overtime loss to Nashville.

That defeat marked the third time this season that Minnesota had scored four or more goals and failed to get two points.

It also marked the fourth time in Darcy Kuemper’s last five home starts that the 24-year-old goalie had been pulled. He and veteran Niklas Backstrom have combined for a save percentage of just .902 in 2014-15. At five-on-five, no team in the entire NHL has a lower save percentage than Minnesota. Not even Edmonton.

All of which is to say, the Wild have a goaltending problem. And no, Josh Harding isn’t an option right now.

Whether GM Chuck Fletcher does anything about it remains to be seen. He could always stay patient and hope one of Kuemper and Backstrom finds a groove. But considering the former has just 49 NHL starts to his name and the latter, 36 years old now, hasn’t had decent numbers in a couple of years, nobody would blame Fletcher for picking up the phone and exploring his options.

Related: Comparing the shot differentials of all 30 teams